Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

44/50: Father Mine by JR Ward

Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella's Story (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5)Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella's Story by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Bella and Zsadist! This little novella wasn't long enough. I stayed up late to finish this one. Seeing Zsadist struggle with being a father and mate and all his inner demons was heartbreaking. He is an amazing mate to Bella and has come so far since we first met him in Lover Awakened. This little story made me fall in love with him all over again. Warms my heart to see such a savage man at the beginning of book 3 end up as this loving father.

Ward did well tying in all these bits and pieces of the previous books so I knew exactly where this story fit in with the rest. Reading a scene from a different perspective in a room always has its benefits.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

43/50: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6)Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not my favorite in the series. Still good, but definitely not because of the main story. Phury was annoying, whiney and OMGGETOVERYOURSELF!!!!
His character made me angry and if it wasn't for the rest of the characters I may not have finished it. I found myself skipping over a lot of his story just to get to the other stories.

I found that his love towards Cormia just wasn't up to snuff with the rest of the Brothers. For one, he didn't ever really get that "mine" thing going on that the rest of the Brothers had. He did have brief moments of possession but he supressed them. There was very little hot and steamy sex which, really that's what drew me to these books in the first.

All that negativity said... the other characters in the book were amazing. John Matthew where is your book?! You are like a miniture Brotherhood gang with Qhuinn and Blay that I want more of! I cannot wait to read more about him. Revhenge has grabbed my attention this book and the war with the Lessers is really amping up. I'd consider this an inbetween book. You have to read it to get through to the next ones. It sets a lot up for future books.
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Saturday, December 24, 2011


Merry Christmas internet friends!!! 

I hope your holidays, whatever you may celebrate are wonderful and full of joy.

Frenchie and I have had pre-Christmas with his entire immediate family. A surprise since we didn't think we would see anyone but the oldest brother. It was wonderful to see everyone.
We've opened up our gifts, enjoyed some wonderful food and lots of games and fun.

We are heading to my family today (Christmas Eve) to spend Christmas with them and a few days after.

We do the whole switch years thing and I think it works for the most part.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sep/Oct/Nov 2011 Recap

I've been majorly slacking on the recap blogging so you get 3 months worth in one post.
I'm still writing a lot of my reviews for this year. Hoping I can push through them so they are up before the end of year. Things aren't looking good though.
My reading has been lacking big time. I'm not going to reach my goal of 50, but I have still read some amazing books this year.

September 2011 Recap

Books read to date: 33/50
Pages read to date: 11219

Feed (Newsflesh #1) by Mira Grant (review here)

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Monthly savings: $9.99
Year-to-date savings: $311.54

October 2011 Recap

Books read to date: 37/50
Pages read to date: 12341

How to Be a Good Wife by Bodleian Library
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (review here)
Pink by Lili Wilkinson (review here)
Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #4) by J. R. Ward (review here)

Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp

Monthly savings: $27.02
Year-to-date savings: $338.56

November 2011 Recap

Books read to date: 40/50
Pages read to date: 13657

Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp (review here)
The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Monthly savings: $11.55
Year-to-date savings: $350.11

Remember that wrist thing?

I'm not sure how many of you remember anything about my wrist problem, but I'm finally getting some answers. For the past 6 years I've had issues with wrist pain. It started in my wrist and has since then morphed into a whole forearm/elbow thing. At this point I get pinching pain in my inner forearm, sharp pain near my inner elbow and I often feel like I'm typing through jello or mud.

In the past year I've finally convinced my doctor that enough is enough. She is convinced that I had carpal tunnel because I had wrist pain. All the tests for CT were always negative. I asked for some new tests and to know what the issue is. Let's review:
  • Carpal tunnel tests - negative
  • X-ray - showed nothing.
  • Ultrasound - showed nothing
  • Nerve Conduction test - showed nothing
  • MRI - booked for this coming April
The only thing good to come out of all this is that I know I don't have any bone issues or pinched nerves in my actual wrist. I also know that I have no nerve damage, which is great news since nerves can take years to heal. This is all great news, but still doesn't explain why I'm in pain.

Thankfully I was able to ask the Dr that did my nerve test some questions. He told me that based on my symptoms it's likely that I have a pinched Ulnar Nerve.

Funny part about that is that my friend who's in medical school said that ulnar nerver entratment is likely what I have over gchat. Rant: It took 3 tests, 6 years and 2 Dr's to tell me what a med student did in a matter of weeks. Something is wrong with that picture. The something wrong is that I'm a young person and clearly there couldn't be anything wrong with me. And if it's wrist pain and I work on a computer, I must have carpal tunnel WHICH IS NOT THE CASE!!!

Because there is no nerve damage there isn't anything medical that they can do to help the nerve. I have some options to help manage and hopefully relieve some pain. Doc suggested to buy an elbow pad ($ version) or use a sock (cheap version) to keep my elbow straight while I sleep. He explained that although I'm on a computer all day, likely the damage is happening while I'm asleep. Doc recommended wearing the elbow pad to keep my arm straight at night for about a month and see if there is any improvements.

My biggest fear in this whole thing is my livelyhood. I'm an IT professional. I work on a computer all day to make money. What happens when my body says enough and I can't work anymore? It's bad enough that right now I can't hold my nieces and nephews with that hand. In the mornings I can barely twist the cap off my face lotion let alone hold a glass. If a small solution like an elbow brace at night will help relieve the pain and I can start to build strength I'm all in. At this point I'll do anything to help.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

42/50: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5)Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't like this one as much as the others. I did like V's story and learning the background of why he is the way he is. It seemed to fall a little flat on the love side of things. While the steamy scenes were in fact steamy, I didn't feel like the love between V and Jane was as stong as the other stories. It felt like Ward tried to stuff too many story lines into one book. I liked them, but it was as if there wasn't enough time spent on each one. I can see there is a set up for more stories to come and that makes me excited to know there are more books in the future. The amount of characters and endless possibilities makes me giddy.
I'll be starting Lover Enshrined soon! Ward definitely knows how to pull you into the next book right away. I am excited to read about Phury and can't wait to get to John's story.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

41/50: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I snagged this one from the library after it being recommended by a fellow book nerd. I completely forgot it was catagorized as a Paranormal YA until the end. It seemed like a regular book, not paranormal, if that makes sense. Usually when I hear paranormal I think of different creatures and such. This one didn't have that, and it was refreshing.

Mara is in a new place dealing with the aftermath of her 3 friends being killed in an accident and she is completely unharmed... physically anyways. She doesn't remember a thing only that something isn't quite right. There is more to the accident than her brain is letting her remember.

Reading this book was so confusing, but in a good way. It was very well written in the sense that I was completely in Mara's head and as confused about what was going on as she was. I kept having to reread pages to see if I read them right or missed something. It was mentally exhausting and I loved it. I would be reading and everything was making perfect sense until there was an aftermath of a situation that made me think I must have missed something. At which point you accept it and move on until you get to the end and go "OOOOOHHhhhhhh I get it. Whoa. Didn't see that coming. Where is the next one?!"

Noah Shaw: Hello yummy! Wasn't quite sure what to think of him, but turned out to like him in the end. Could Mara really trust him? He's a rich playboy by reputation and that's the last thing she needs, but I think it just took the right girl.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

40/50: The Bronze Horsman by Paulina Simons

The Bronze Horseman (Tatiana and Alexander, #1)The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book had some amazing recommendations. (Thank you book pushers, you're feeding my addiction well) I love historical fiction and I haven't read any in Russia.

The Bronze Horseman was heartbreaking beautiful. I'm not usually one to cry during books but this one did it. As much of a love story between Tatiana and Alexander as this book was, that wasn't the part brought tears. The life that Tatiana had to go through during the war broke my heart. The descriptions of how those around her dealt with the life they were living really hits you. Nothing quite hits home like Tatiana losing family members. After reading parts of this book I wanted to call my family and tell them I loved them. The next time I saw my sisters I hugged them and felt so thankful we don't live in a time like this book.

Aside from the family drama and chaos, the descriptions Simons gives of the world around Tatiana was so vivid. The part that struck me the hardest was when Tatiana was going to get rations and she passes a man. When she looks back, he falls down and dies. The writing was so amazing that you couldn't help but feel this overwhelming sadness.

I couldn't give this book 5 stars for one reason. Tatiana irritated me so much! I get that she is only 17/18 years old but given the timeframe of the novel, I would expect a little less tantrum-child and a little more woman. I got so frustrated near the end that I was just wanting to finish the book.

A lot of my book pushers went on to read the next books in the series, but I won't be. The story wrapped up fairly well, and it didn't give me any desire to continue.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

38/50: The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp

Husband Project, TheThe Husband Project by Kathi Lipp
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 I came across The Husband Project and thought what a fun idea. I've been struggling as a new wife to get out of my self and focus on him a little more. 

The Husband Project is to stealthily do something for your husband every day for 21 days. It may take longer than 21 days because life doesn't always cooperate and that's ok. The somethings are not grand gestures, just something small. Like a post-it note in his lunch saying I love you. Like a fresh cup of his favorite coffee when he gets up in the morning or his favorite snack. Along with the small there are the bigger tasks. Do something together you used to do while dating. Cook his favorite meal. Eliminate a task that he hates doing.

The point is to not do these things/tasks looking for recognition. You aren't doing them so he'll notice. He may and that's wonderful, but he might not. I thought that if I could get through the 21 days without Frenchie getting suspicious that something was up, I was successful. My own personal goal. You definitely wouldn't want to tell your husband you're doing the project because then you're looking for recognition and he's looking to catch the nice things you're doing.

I read through the first couple chapters of this book and immediately posted on my bride forum inviting the other new wives to join me in my endeavor. A few loved the idea and a few others wondered why we needed a book to show our love to our husbands. Of course we don't need a book, but if you're like me, you sometimes get lazy and need some ideas. I dragged my sisters into this project as well and I loved hearing the reactions they got and the struggles they went through during the project. What lucky husbands we have!

I got the reaction "where is the wife project?" a couple of times. First off, can you really see a man doing this? Honestly? Secondly, here's my theory: You get what you give. I found through the duration of doing this that Frenchie started to reciprocate without even realizing it. I felt more in love doing things for him (I'm a giver by nature) than if I just focused on me or asked him for things.

It took me 4 weeks to complete all 21 projects. At the end I told Frenchie he was my experiment and asked him what he thought. Or better yet, if he even noticed. I explained what I had done and he had this light bulb moment.
"Oh! That's why the texts and the facebook statuses about me"
"Oh! That's why this or that"
He didn't really notice that it was a constant thing happening, but there were a few tasks he said he noticed more than some. Obviously those things meant more to him and judging by his Love Language it made sense.

One things I have learned from this project is that it doesn't take much to turn your thoughts to your husband and do one small thing a day for him. Life gets busy, and we focus on the kids, the dog, our job, ourselves and forget about that one person that loves us unconditionally. I've noticed that a few of the projects I did I've continued to do. I just needed a kick in the butt. I've also noticed that since telling Frenchie about my experiment, the things he started doing have also continued.
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

French Toast Muffins

I made these muffins for brunch one weekend for my sisters and nieces. they were well received!
The original recipe calls for Frozen Jumbleberry fruit blend. I used fresh raspberries instead. Either would be great!

To remove these from the muffin tin, don't just flip it over. I did that and half the fruit fell off the muffins. Oops!
The ones we had left over I froze and we used for breakfast during the week. Nice treat.

French Toast Muffins  From Inspired Magazine, Fall 2011
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 40 miutes (from frozen); 35 minutes from fresh
Mkes: 12 Muffins
Preheat oven: 375F (190C)
Greased muffin tin

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups 1% milk (I used 2%)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
10 slices bread, cubed
1 cup frozen berries
2 tbsp maple syrup

In a bowl whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until well combined.
Add cubed bread and toss gently until the egg mixture is absorbed.
Add berries and toss gently to combine

Divide muffin mixture evenly into a greased muffin tin and drizzle with maple syrup.
Bake in the centre of a oven for 25 minutes

Eat fresh with a little extra maple syrup drizzled on top.

To freeze:
Cool completely from oven, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in a resealable plastic bag or container.
To reheat frozen muffins, remove plastic wrap and place in micrwave on defrost for 1 minute. If desired, drizzle warm muffins with a little more mape syrup before serving.

Freeze and Bake later
To freeze now and bake later, place the muffin tin in the freezer until batter is solid and remove "pucks" to a freezer bag for storage (they don't need to be wrapped individually).
Bake from frozen either in a muffin tin or on a baking sheet.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

39/50: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next DoorLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'll preface this review by saying that I had very high expectations of Lola. I loved Anna and the French Kiss so much that I hugged that book when I finished. After all the hype and love my friends gave Lola I was expecting the same sort of love. It wasn't there but I still really liked the book. Hard not to!

Lola is an interesting character. She's smart, funny, has two wonderful parents and has a bit of life she'd rather not talk about. She is as unique as you can get and some of the things she wears made me think she's even more awesome. Started off as a huge fan of hot rocker boyfriend with a nice muscle car until he sold it for van. Really? A van? Gross.

Cricket on the other hand... geeky? Love it. Awkward? Love it. Sweet, caring? Love it. Definitely a much better guy for Lola. He brings out the best in her and lets her fly however she wants.

This one wasn't a complicated book. There was little misunderstanding that were blown out of proportion and that's what made it great. You can see how something would be misconstrued and taken the wrong way and cause problems that you can't help but think "No! Stop being stupid! He likes you, you like him. Get on with it already!" Everything is wrapped up in a nice little bow just like Anna was and that's why it's worth the read. It's fun, it's sweet, it's easy and great brain candy.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

37/50: Lover Revealed by JR Ward

Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4)Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The 4th installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood follows Butch, the human brother. Cast out from his old life, he lives with the Brotherhood and assists them anyway he can. We saw in previous books that he was falling hard for Marissa, one of the aristocrats of the vampire society.

Butch and Marissa have an interesting story. As a human and a vampire, it's frowned upon that they should be lovers. I found that their love was juvenile. Not in the way they loved, but the way they went about it. There was so many misunderstandings between the two of them that at some points in the book I wanted to scream. If Butch would have just gone and talked to her, if Marissa would have just gave him a look. However, without the not knowing what was really going on with them, we wouldn't have had this book, and we wouldn't be able to see a love between two people like this.

Aside from the love story, we see Butch in a new light. As a cop who was called on to help people in need, he is always on the sidelines when it comes to the Brotherhood and their fights. A fighter by nature, he has this burning need to help and fight the Brotherhood. He goes out of his way to fight the Lessors without any help and it gets him into a lot of trouble. Trouble that nearly kills him.

Marissa, with the help of Vishious are the only two that can help save Butch. Marissa with her love will heal his heart and give him the will to fight for his life, and Vishious with his curse will heal Butch's body.

This book wasn't as sexy as the first three, but it definitely dove into the Vampire VS Lessor Society far more than the rest. I will definitely have to continue with the series. Interested to read more about the Brotherhood.
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Saturday, October 15, 2011

36/50: Pink by Wilkinsen

PinkPink by Lili Wilkinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pink was a great story about Ava trying to figure out who she really is. Is she emo? Is she really a lesbian? Does she have some underlying girly-girl begging to get out?

Moving to a new school gives Ava the ability to explore all this. Ava starts out at a school where you control your own destiny. She is the smart one in class but feels like she needs more. She doesn't know if she really fits in or if who she is now, really is her. The new school is private, expensive and has a couple cliques. The Pastels, where she longs to belong, and the Screws - Stage Crew. The Pastels are pretty, perfect, and Ava thinks that's where she wants to be with her pink, soft, cashmere cardigan. They are the ones in the school musical that are brilliant singers, dancers and actors. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? Ava ends up in Stage Crew and as much as she hates it, she realizes that even if the Screws aren't Pastel material, they are truer friends, more welcoming and they don't care about your past, present or secrets.

I love that even though Ava went to a new school, she was in the same prediciment. What group does she belong in? Does she really fit in where she longs to be? Are the Pastels really where she wants to be? This book is a good illustration of the "grass is greener on the otherside". No matter what group you're in or think you're supposed to be in, there is always some hidden secret, good or bad.

I'm definitely going to keep this book around for when my nieces get older and aren't sure who they are. Books like this are the kind that parents should give their daughters when they go through an identity crisis. It's got great morals and really shows that it doesn't matter.
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Friday, October 7, 2011

35/50: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

SweetlySweetly by Jackson Pearce
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sweetly was a good, well written book. I couldn't give it 4 stars as much as I wanted to. Hansel and Gretal, from what I remember was about a cannabalistic witch in the woods. There was no witch in this book at all. That's the biggest hang up I have.

Aside from that, the book was great. The characters were good. Gretchen was weak at the beginning as a scared girl and developed into this strong defiant woman. She stood up for herself and that's what I love about Pearce's books. The women are strong. They are characters that people can identify with on a base level and grow with. Gretchen, put through a trauma of losing her twin sister grew to be not just half a sister, but into a person all herself.

I also like the guys in her books. Samual wasn't fawning over Gretchen, but there was this care he had for her that seemed real. There wasn't a "poof we're in love" thing going on. There wasn't a "omgheissohotiwanthisbabies" thing happening. I get the teenage love thing, it's in a lot of books and it does reflect a lot of today's teens. What I love about Sweetly is that although Samual had this care for Gretchen, it's as if he knew she had to collect herself and get herself together and would wait for her patiently. He wasn't obsessive, pushy or anything like that. Just a guy, who cared about her in the only way she needed.

As I said above, I liked the book, but it wasn't nearly as good as Sisters Red.
Having said that, I still can't wait to read the next book Jackson Pearce releases.
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

33/50: Feed by Mira Grant

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1)Feed by Mira Grant
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure I'd like this book. I'm not a politics fan at all. In fact I have an aversion to politics altogether. If someone says "here read this, it's about a presidential campaign", I'll say "No thanks". I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this book.

Shameless book club props: The amazing thing about having a book club pick a book is that you expand your reading base. My Nest Book Club has brought me to books that I never would have picked up on my own and they are some of my favorites.

Feed grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go even when I finished. I have plans to read the next one for sure. I even got my husband to read it and I swear he likes it more than I did.
This isn't a zombie book in the way you might think. It's more about a political campaign and the zombies are just... there.  (yes this is a political book and I really liked it) The zombies have been around for so long, people are able to live their lives with all the blood tests, regulations and paranoia. Some people hide, others face it full force.

The characters are believable. Shaun, Buffy, Rick and Georgia are perfect for their roles. They are all so different, yet work so well together. They have such drastically different personalities it's interesting to see how they react to each other.

The world that Grant created was incredible. She didn't set the world up all at once. She gives you a little, then continues with the story until something needs to be explained. You get the full idea of the world they live in throughout the book and never feel like you're missing anything. You get the information when it comes up and not any sooner. You remember the details because you go them when they were relevant. The history lessons on how the world got to where it was made sense. Sure there were lots of questions in the beginning, but the big ones were answered quickly.

I read this book as if it was a movie. In fact, there are a few people who read it that think it SHOULD be a movie. A lot of times we say that and the book wouldn't translate well. This one would.

I recommend picking this one up. As I said, it's not really about zombies, it's about a presidential campaign, the scandals, lies and truth. Zombies are just there to mess with your day and maybe eat a few people.

Summer Book Challenge: Book Club choice - 10 points
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Friday, September 30, 2011

International Pole Camp 4!

Two weekends ago was the Fourth Annual International Pole Camp. IPC for short. I have gone every year and wouldn't miss it.
More information here: and at

The first year I attended I had been dancing for about 4 months. I was nervous and scared, but figured what did I have to lose. I gained so much knowledge that first year it makes me incredibly happy to think of how many people get the same experience I did.
Going into this weekend I was thinking I wouldn't learn a whole lot. My wrist has been really bugging me and I haven't touched a pole (other than teaching) since April(? I'm guessing that's how long it's been, might have been May). Having not been practicing at all, I wasn't sure how much I was going to learn. I learned a lot for a short period of time. I learned some limits, some strengths and made some new friends, and rekindled with old ones.

Here's a run down of the weekend:

Thursday, Day 1: I didn't particpate this day. I was working, and then needed a night with my husband before I abandoned him for the weekend.

Friday, Day 2: Worked day job and then headed to the hotel to take care of registrations for people coming to the banquet and out on the pole crawl. (Like a pub crawl, but better... we have poles). We had a wonderful dinner, introduced ourselves to the whole group and then went out on the town. Two buses with poles in them picked us all up, we headed to a bar where two stages were set up for us, and we spent the night playing and dancing. I left early enough that I could get some rest for the day coming.
Saturday, Day 3: Morning was spent checking people in to their various workshops and taking one myself. We had the lovely Jamilla Deville as our guest instructor this year. What an honour to take a class from her!!
I spent the afternoon helping people out with moves I already knew how to do and imparting knowledge. Have the fun is sharing what you know and watching someone's face light up when they get a new move.
During the evening, we went back the hotel and had another dinner, door prizes and awards.
I have now gotten 2 trophies that say "Best Booty Shaker" All because I don't mind making an idiot out of myself at the bar

Sunday, Day 4: I learned 5 new moves on the last day of camp. WOOhOO!! I had a great time hanging out with friends, learning and teaching. It was a great end to the wonderful weekend. Can't wait for next year!

Here are pics of 3 of the moves I learned
The Q

Top Handed Viva


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

French Toast Baked in honey-pecan sauce

This is by far the best French Toast recipe I've ever had. It's perfect for a weekend. Make half the night before, and bake it in the morning. It's a huge sugar overload, so make sure you have something light to go along with it.

From The New Intercourses (an aphrodisiac cookbook) pg 87

4 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 slices day old French bread

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter cut into pieces
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Combine Eggs, half-and-half, brown sugar and vanilla extract in small bowl.
Pour HALF the mixture into a baking dish.
Place bread in the pan and top with other half of mixture.
Refrigerate covered overnight.

Next Day:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in oven in a baking dish.
When melted, stir in brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and pecans.
Set soaked bread on top of pecan mixture.

Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Remove with spatula and invert each slice onto plates. Spoon remaining syrup and nuts on top.

Monday, September 12, 2011

In which I am a bad wife (according to me)

**this morphed into a very long post. I won't be offended if you don't make it to the bottom of my rant and raving and self-loathing**

I've been struggling with this wife thing. I love being married. I love my husband. My problem is that I have an idea in my head of what a wife should be and I'm not getting a good report card. This is all according to the toughest critic: Me.

Let's revisit the 1950's:
Wife stays home and takes care of everything home related. Husband goes to work and brings in money and does man things.

Fastforward to today (high level overview):
Rules don't apply. Everything is all mixed together and there is a shift depending on who the breadwinner is. Both do house work, both do yard work, both take care of children (fur or human)

My version: A mix of both.
Wife does most of the housework but husband helps where he can.
Husband does more of the outdoor work, wife helps where she can. Keeps the cars in running order
Take care of our furbaby together
Both work full time.

We both work full time jobs and I work a second part time job 1 - 3 times a week. It varies depending on how many students I get signed up for classes. I love working Job#2 but sometimes it's a lot when all I want is to sit at home with my husband.
I'm a huge planner and I think that sometimes that works against me. Our entire life is planned out to some extent and there's very little room to go off the path. Note that I'M a planner. Frenchie goes along with "the plan" and gets very frustrated when everything is the same every week for what days we do what and when. I agree with him on most accounts, but how else would be get anything done if it wasn't planned?

The part I'm struggling with is how do I do all the wifely tasks I feel I should do and still spend time with my husband and friends. I fail at the housework section of my definition.
I'm lazy. I'll be the first to admit what Frenchie already knows. I get distracted easily. I'll say I'm going to cook and then turn on the computer or grab a book and forget what I said I was going to do.
I hate cleaning unless I'm in a bad mood, then it's a release. My tolerance for dirt is lower than his so by the time the house is dirty enough for me to notice, he's already cleaned it. Which makes me feel crappy because that's my job and I didn't do it.
I love to bake and do that well. Point for me!
I like to cook, but somehow hardy ever seem to do it. I feel like I turn around and Frenchie is cooking up dinner again for the millionth time. Let's face it, if he waited for me to get off my butt and do it, we'd never eat. I'm not a horrible cook. Follow the directions the first time you make a meal and ad lib the next time to suit your tastes.
I've gotten us to meal plan and that's made a big difference for us having more time in the evenings. We don't play the "what do you want for supper?" "doesn't matter, what do you feel like?" game anymore because what we're eating is marked on the fridge.
I do the laundry, but never manage to iron or fold. He ends up folding after the clothes has sat on the couch for a week and wrinkled. Ironing is a lot longer.
Is it just me or do I sound like a lazy wife. My husband holds up his end the relationship. The yard and cars are always well cared for (expect the flower beds, which is my section and those rarely get touched) Then he does half of my things.
Any advice to whip my butt into "wife shape"? I am the baby of a family and with the age difference I grew up through my teenage years as an only child. Is this just who I am or do you think there's hope? How the heck are we ever going to have a somewhat smoothly running household when we have kids if I can't even keep my end of the deal up with the two of us??

Friday, September 2, 2011

32/50: Water for Elephants by Sera Gruen

Water for ElephantsWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It took me a long time to listen to this book. I liked the story, I liked the narrator, I just wasn't grabbed. I could put it away and come back to it a week later without feeling that pull. I wanted really badly to love this book because of all the wonderful things I'd heard about it.

I liked the characters. The way they were written made you feel exactly how you were supposed to about them.  I hated August. I thought Marlena was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I thought Jacob was likable enough as a young man, and loved him as a 93 year old.
The secondary characters were great as well. Such dynamics. Walter grew on me throughout the story. He ended up being one of my favorites.

The alternating point of views from Old Jacob remembering to Young Jacob telling the story first hand was great. The book wouldn't have had the same effect without the reminiscing chapters.

It's hard to review books you don't love or hate. There was nothing spectacular in it that made me want to recommend it to everyone I know. There was nothing in it that made me say no way, don't read it. It was a good book, and I can see why people loved it, it just wasn't my favorite.
I do however want to see the movie now because I have finished reading it. I think it would translate well into film. As much as I am not a Robert Pattinson fan, I think he would do a great job of playing Jacob.
SuBC 2011: Book on a summer reading list - 10 points
Book Journey 2011: United States.

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August 2011 Recap

Books read to date: 32/50
Pages read to date: 10636

Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) by J.R. Ward (review here)

Feed (Newsflesh, Book 1) by Mira Grant

Monthly savings: $26.22
Year-to-date savings: $281.78

Book Journey
Caldwell, New York
Manhattan, New York

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

31/50: Wither by Lauren Destefano

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)Wither by Lauren DeStefano

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first read about this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. Polygamy isn't something I understand, but from what I do know, I disagree with it. I'm not sure whether to be disturbed or enlightened. The girls are so young when they get taken and forced to marry and have babies right away. It seems so wrong.

I liked the characters. They interacted well with each other and were so completely different they complimented each other. I was sad for all the characters as well. Especially Linden, Jenna, Cecily, Rhine and Gabriel. They all had a different point of view on their situations that vastely differed.  Ranging from thinking being made a wife is the best possible outcome in life; Or that being made a wife is like prison, or a slow death.

There was something comfortable about the lives the three girls were brought into. Something safe. Rhine knew what freedom really was having grown up with parents and a brother. Jenna and Cecily didn't being orphaned or sold into prostitution. For them, the mansion meant "home", for Rhine it was a prison. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.

It wasn't a feel good book, but definitely makes you think about what you would do if you only had until the age of 20/25 to live. Rhine never got to experience the "live life to it's fullest because it ends so soon" mentality until she was bought to be a bride. What would you do? Would you accept the life you were sold into and embrace it? Or would you fight to escape and be free, even if free means running for your life.

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SuBC2011 - Read a YA Book - 5 points
BookJourney2011 - Manhattan and Florida