Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Menu Planning Week 9

I'm changing up my posting schedule for weekly menu planning. It was getting confusing and frustrating for me to post on Monday, since I plan my menu and grocery shop on Wednesdays. So here you go, for this coming week!

Thursday- leftovers

Friday- pizza night

Saturday- dinner at grandma's

Sunday- Brown Sugar Chicken ; mashed potatoes; salad

Monday- breakfast burritos

Tuesday- Crockpot parmesan pork roast; corn; crescent rolls

Wednesday- Monte Cristo sandwiches; asparagus

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pinterest Weekend Round-up

Love me some Pinterest. Here are some goodies I found this weekend:

Grocery bag journal tutorial

Roasted green beans and mushrooms recipe

Here's a simple hair style I may actually be able to do, and it's called The Starlet!

I found this cute card on a friend's board. The tutorial is for the bow, but I loved the panels with the circle cut-out.

As Spring gets closer, I have been contemplating a compost bin. This one looks do-able.

Love this giant flower stencil - think it would work on concrete?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Project 365: Week 8

Sunday- sign on the playroom door- the girls were making a "movie" and didn't want to be disturbed!

Monday- took the girls to see Arietty- this is the promo for Hunger Games- can't wait for it to come out!

Tuesday- played games at cheerleading practice today, just for fun.

Wednesday- we've had unseasonably warm weather this winter, so some of my plant are a little confused!

Thursday- time for a new pair of dance shoes- can't beleive she's been taking lessons for over a year now!

Friday- took this photo at work, although it does not do the strange weather justice- sunny, then a downpour, then 5 minutes of extreme wind and hail.

Saturday- Y-E-L-L Everybody yell!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

A Visit from the Goon SquadA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What did I think? I think I was confused and bored while reading this book. I was also sad, because I loved The Keep and wanted to love this novel as well.

It just had way too many characters, none well developed in my opinion, and it was too disjointed. Egan jumps from person to person, era to era, and place to place in the blink of an eye. No rhyme or reason that I could see.

And really, what's the message? You are young and do stupid things, you get old and things get better or worse, or stay the same. Seriously, that's what I got out of it. No great drama, no mysteries revealed.

If you like mulitple point-of-view writing and more description than plot, this may be for you. Just not my cup of tea.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 20, 2012

One Little Word: January 2012

Last month's assignment included completing a few written prompts. Reflecting on our word and why we chose it, what we hope to gain through it...

My word for the year is health.
I am using a circle motif and shades of red and gray to carry me through the year and add cohesion to my album.

Paper- Creative Memories
Stamps- Unity
Ink- Adirondak

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Project 365: Week 7

Pretty standard week around here. I tried avoiding my usual pics (dance, cheerleading...) and kept perspective in mind. I think I did a fairly good job of adding some photos taken from different angles and distances, rather than all font-on shots.

Sunday- Finally getting around to doing our taxes. There's one task to cross off my February to-do list!

Monday- Can't start the week (or even day) without a cuppa!
Tuesday- You can't spell HEART without ART- the art teacher at school does face painting every Valentine's Day.
Wednesday- The 7am moon.
Thursday- M is ready for rain today.
Friday- This is my Meniett device, which I use 3 times a day to treat Meniere's Disease.
Saturday- Beautiful day for a walk in the park.

Visit this blog for other 365 participants.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5)Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ahhh, Roland. We love you.

Those readers who have been following Roland and his ka-tet on their quest for the Dark Tower will be captivated by this fifth book in the series.

Where book #4, Wizards and Glass, has a ridiculous reference to the Wizard of Oz, in this story we encounter characters from and references to other King novels. Clever. Throw in light sabers and a bit of Harry Potter...that's how it goes on the Path of the Beam.

In this part of the series, our group of travelers comes across a village that needs their help to defeat the Wolves, who come and steal children. Being who they are, the group agrees and are rewarded with another dangerous and mysterious crystal ball.

In the midst of planning their defeat of the Wolves, Roland and his group travel around in time and space to protect the rose that Jake first saw in New York in the 70's.

Jake grows up more and more throughout this book- he comes across challenges that are different from, but no less sobering, than gunfights. Susannah's dangerous pregnancy continues and she begins slipping into another personality, Mia, who is the creature's mother.

As for Roland, he continually reminds us that he is gunslinger through and through. With little sentimentality and even less mercy, he leads his ka-tet through their task in the calla and on towards the Tower.      

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book Review: Petals on the Wind by V.C. Andrews

Petals on the Wind (Dollanganger, #2)Petals on the Wind by V.C. Andrews
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After re-reading Flowers in the Attic, I was so excited to continue this series. How did the Dollanganger children continue their lives since escaping from a sadistic grandmother and mother? It starts out promising enough- they are "adopted" by a kind doctor named Paul who provides them with love and security. Chris (the elder brother) will get to go to medical school and Cathy (the elder sister) joins a ballet troupe. Carrie, the surviving twin, regains her health after being poisoned by arsenic.

Everything that happens after that is just unbelievable. Chris and Carrie remain sympathetic characters while Cathy's desire for revenge and warped sense of sexual power leads her on a path of destruction. She seduces the doctor then breaks his heart by marrying a fellow dancer she despises. She is pregnant with this man's child when he dies in a car accident. More sleeping with the doctor, followed by tracking down her mother's husband (Bart)and falling in love with him. Pregnant once again, she watches in horror as Bart dies, then runs back to Paul and marries him shortly before he dies...seriously!

Meanwhile, her brother Chris has sufferred through all these men, knowing he can never be with his sister in the way he wants...or can he? After everyone stops dying (for the time being), Chris and Cathy set off with her two sons to begin a new life (and a new novel).

It's not high art, but V.C. Andrews is a bestseller for a reason. Her characters are like trainwrecks that you can't help but stare at, and the reading is quick and easy. I realize what unbelievable fluff it all is, but I'll be going back for the next book in the series, just to find out what happens next.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 2/13/12

Monday- pancakes and bacon

Tuesday- crockpot vegetable soup  (this recipe has the basic ingredients- I add a can of cream of mushroom soup and put it in the crockpot on low)  and cornbread

Wednesday- salad with grilled chicken; sweet Hawaiian rolls

Thursday- Deluxe Cheesy Tuna Mac; mixed veggies

Friday- pizza night

Saturday- Pierogi Beef Skillet; fruit salad

Sunday- leftovers

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Project 365:Week 6

Sorry for the quality of photos this week- I am relying a lot on my phone to take candid photos, and they just don't turn out very well sometimes!
Sunday- Making Valentines for their class

Monday- Painting nails at cheer practice, just for fun

Tuesday- Lots of errands today- kids just acting silly in the backseat of the car

Wednesday- I really hate grocery shopping, but there is something very satisfying about having a stocked fridge and pantry!

Thursday- Daddy and daughter video game time

Friday- artwork from school- this is a stylized owl

Saturday- my kids have been desperate to play in the snow, but the weather hasn't cooperated- they decided to make the most of the inch or so we got today

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played With FireThe Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually may have liked this book better than the first, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. If you read the first in the series, which you should, you are already invested in the lives of these characters- Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist in particular. You care about what happens to them, and read in disbelief as they encounter one dangerous situation after another.

This installment takes us into Lisbeth's past and gives details about her murky and troubled childhood, which has caught up with her. Salander's life is in danger and she is wanted by the police. Even though she hasn't spoken to Blomkvist in over a year, he once again puts on his "detective" hat and helps her the best he can from afar.

As with the first book, there are lots of players in this story, with names you won't be able to pronounce. If you can get past that, and the first couple of slow chapters that don't have much to do with the main plot, you'll enjoy the mystery, puzzle and danger Larsson has served up in this sequel.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of PiLife of Pi by Yann Martel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The inside jacket covers states that this book may make you believe in God. For me, not so much.

Piscene/Pissing/Pi grows up and learns to love Hinduism/Christianity/Buddhism. His family moves from India to Canada. On the way there he befalls a major tragedy. For me, the story doesn't really get interesting until this tragedy happens. I am usually a very fast reader, but I just could not get into it! It took me over a week to get just halfway through the story.

The very ending is worth the read, if you can make it. A great "what if" is brought up, as Pi shares his tragedy as well as a different version of events. It is the second telling of his misadventures that makes you rethink the entire story. However, it is far from God-revealing.

Besides the drawn-out descriptions, I disliked that the adult Pi we meet seems to have no connection to the teenager that suffers overwhelming fear and loss. His life seems normal. Even the narrator comments that "this story has a happy ending". Maybe God comes into it because after all he's been through, Pi shouldn't have a normal, happy life. Most of us probably wouldn't.

Even though things are not always what they seem in this novel, it was not earth-shattering or life-changing for me. An OK story, but at times slow and dry. In my opinion, overrated.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: 2/6/12

Monday- pancakes and bacon

Tuesday- leftovers from the weekend

Wednesday- keilbasa with sauted peppers and onions; rice

Thursday- hamburgers; fried dill pickles

Friday- Date night with the hubs

Saturday- pizza night

Sunday- dinner at grandma's

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Project 365: Week 5

We had a gorgeous, sunny, warm week here in SW Ohio.
Sunday- Birthday party for my niece. Such a fun time!

Monday- Getting a little addicted to these things.

Tuesday- Facebook- Have you switched to Timeline yet?

Wednesday- Gorgeous clouds in a blue sky! Sunroof open today.

Thursday- Spa time for Barbie.

Friday- Quite the commedian. "Is this thing on?" "Orange you glad I didn't say banana?" "Hello, hello?"

Saturday- Got lots of good pics today at cheerleading!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A List for February

So I was browsing the internet the other day, as I am wont to do, and came upon this List post. I love lists! Apparently, there is some sort of group who makes a list of ten "to-dos" monthly and blogs about it. What a great idea! Sometimes (ok, almost all the time) I get caught up in my daily to-do lists and overlook bigger projects or seldom performed tasks. So here it is, my Ten To Dos for February:

1. Make a trip to Goodwill. I have at least four bags of stuff that have been sitting around for over a month!
2. Book our Disney World vacation!! Really looking forward to this one!
3. Finish my January pages for my One Little Word album.
4. Bake with my kids using their Easy-Bake Oven.
5. Clean my craft room.
6. Make an appointment with the allergy specialist. Just found out I have multiple food sensitivities.
7. Take some black and white photos, just for fun.
8. File our taxes.
9. Finish scrapping Christmas 2011 photos.
10. Write at least one additional blog post that does not concern a book review, Project 365, or menu planning!

Anything in particular on your to-do list this month?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Book Review: Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag

Down the Darkest Road (Oak Knoll #3)Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the third and final installment in Hoag's Oak Knoll series. It would do well as a stand-alone read, but it was nice to revisit charaters such as Anne and Vince Leone, Tony Mendez, and young Wendy.

The plot, although not terribly inventive, is quickly paced and has a few suspenseful moments- a mother seeks answers and revenge for her teenage daughter's abduction. This book contains quite a bit of cussing and perversion, which I don't remember from previous books in the series.

My major complaint about this book is Hoag's overuse of similies. Her fear was like acid in her veins...His eyes were like the blackest night...the memory was like a knife...on and on the similies go, seemingly in every paragraph.

Overall, not a terrible read, but not my favorite in the series.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday: 2/2/12

If you live in Ohio, then you know blue skies and sunshine have been rare commodities lately.
Yesterday was (mostly) sunny, high 50's for temperature,
and we had these beautiful streaked clouds.
I drove with my sunroof open.
In February.
In Ohio.
Thankful for this un-winter-like weather!

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