Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Haul V.1

Hi.  My name is Amie and I have an addiction to buying books. not kidding. 

This is what I am striving for. A nice, huge home library.  


This past week I hit up Books-a-Million and they had an awesome sale going on.

I may have went a little overboard. 




01.  Up to Me by M. Leighton  (Bad Boys #2) - I have never read this book or any books in the series but it was only $2 and it has a 4.14 rating on Goodreads.



02.  The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen.  I already own this on my kindle but I loved it so much (I gave it a 5 star rating on Goodreads) that I had to have a hard copy for myself.  Plus Jessica Sorensen writes amazing books. 


03.  Fever by Maya Banks (Breathless #2).  I have read all three books in this series and let me say - wowzers.  They are not for the faint of heart.  I borrowed this series from the library and fell in love.  I haven't read many other books by Maya Banks but what I did read I loved.  


04.  By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Ann Peters. MMMkay.  I am sure you are wondering why I got a book about teen suicide.  Well I have read some books that dealt with this topic and I have found them to be some of the best books.  They are gritty but honest and real.  This book has a 3.90 rating on Goodreads which is pretty decent so I'm going to try it out. 




05.  The Zombie Chasers #4:  Empire State of Slime by John Kloepfer.  Bought this for my son.  This is a little advance for him but he loves zombies and I am trying to build up his library too.




06.  The Good Life for Less:  Giving Your Family Great Meals, Good Times, and a Happy Home on a Budget by Amy Allen Clark.  This book was only $2.99 and it had some great recipes in it.  I really am looking forward to reading this.


07.  Noah's Ark:  The Brick Bible for Kids by Brendan Powell Smith.  Hmmmm, this is a Lego Bible story so I knew my son would enjoy this but its pretty graphic for a kid's story book.  Yes, I know the story of Noah isn't all rainbows and sunshine but seriously?  Looking back I would have skipped over this one. 



08.  The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary I am always looking for good parents books and Oprah has said this is one that she recommends to all parents. 



09.  Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales retold by Miles Kelly. This is now our bedtime story book.  I am in love. 



10.  Capturing Camelot:  Stanley Tretick's Iconic Images of the Kennedys by Kitty Kelley. ♥ I have always loved the Kennedy family and this book is my new coffee table book.  The photographs are amazing.






Sunday, March 29, 2015

Photo Dump V. 2

School dances, park days, & guinea pigs....




to see more pics you can follow me on instagram, twitter, or facebook.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Things I love Thursday V. 3

Happy Thursday everyone!  While I am over here suffering from a major sinus headache, I thought I'd share some awesome things I'm loving this week:



♥ X Files is coming back!  Fox just ordered six new episodes - time to binge watch some episodes.  Eek.  I am in love with this Dana Scully print by Heymonster.


♥ I really want to make these awesome Easy Glitter Easter Eggs on MomSpark.



♥ How adorable is Wisconsin player Nigel Hayes?!?!  Just getting a little embarrassed; he didn't realize the whole room could hear him.





♥  Rainy day and hoodies.  and snuggling on the couch. 

♥ Truth.



Hope you have a great Thursday ♥








Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review: Meldoy's Crush

Dislcaimer:  I am an adult and I love YA (Young Adult) books. Deal with it.  And this review will contain spoilers. 





Melody's Crush by Alora Dillon was recommended to me by some of my Goodreads friends.  I was a little hesitant because when Alora Dillon started writing the book, she published it in sections until it was finished then she published a complete novel.  I find when this happens extra hoopla gets put into the book that either makes no sense, repeats something we already know, or has nothing to do with the story.  And I am sad to say but I feel that's what happened to Meldoy's Crush. 

Melody has been crushing on her next door neighbor and best friend, Jake, for the past three years.  They have more of a brotherly/sisterly love going on until their health class has a marriage/baby project that changes everything.

Overall, I love the idea of this book - girl falls for best friend then bad boy/boy opposite of her/off limits boy/you get the idea comes in and rocks her world.  She questions everything about the "crush" she has for her best friend.  Whom shall she choose?

What I didn't like:

Ugh, Melody had me so confused.  One second she's in love with Jake.  Then Kyle comes in and is mean to her so she hates him but then he has one moment of niceness and she thinks she is crushing on him and forgets Jake. Then Kyle is mean and she wants Jake.  She back and forths so much that sometimes I honestly got confused who she was talking about.  

Melody and her mother live on the property of  Melody's mom's  (I can't remember her name - not sure if it was even mentioned) old friend, who she once thought she loved and that in turn makes Jake's mom hate Melody?  Yeah? No?  That's what I took from the book.  It made no sense to me.  It was convenient plus later in the book gave great insight to what Melody and Jake were going through, but to me that was way in left field.  

Melody almost faints a lot. and one time she actually did. No medical reason.  The male form does that to her. Well only Kyle's male form.

Jake's mom slaps him when he almost kisses Melody. hmph. Why?  Can the teens not talk about it? This has me the most baffled.  Yes I know she didn't like Melody but she slaps him and they all move on. 

That damn electronic baby.

How easily Melody's mom allowed Kyle to sleep on the floor of Melody's room then eventually allows her to sleep in bed with Kyle. 

What I did like:

The idea of the story.  

The banter between characters is cute and funny.  

Some of the dialog really pulled at my heart strings and made most of the confusion of this story forgotten.  

The ending dialog was amazing and made me swoon.  


Overall:

Its a confusing but sweet read.  Had some good moments but I would probably not read this again.  I give it 2.75 electronic annoying babies. 







you can follow what I am reading on my Goodreads page. 


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Apricot Chicken

Hey y'all! Today I am sharing one of my easy, go-to recipes - Apricot Chicken.  


Ingredients:



4 - 6 boneless skinless chicken breast; cubed
8 oz bottle of Russian dressing
1 cup apricot preserves
1 pack of dry onion soup mix



Directions:

01.  In a large bowl mix the dressing, preserves, and onion soup mix.
02.  Add your cubed chicken and toss well, coating all the chicken. 
03.  Cover your bowl and place in fridge for about an hour or so.
04.  Place your chicken in a baking dish and place in the oven at 350 for about 35 mins. Timing will all depend on size of chicken.  Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  



See, its that simple.  We normally serve ours with mashed potatoes but you could also use rice.  


Notes:

- You can cut your chicken however you like.  I normally cube it to allow for easier cooking but you could leave the breast whole or do strips.

- Russian dressing is extremely hard to find so when I do see it I grab two or three bottles at a time.  I seem to have better luck at Walmart than grocery stores. 

- I have heard of people substituting French dressing for Russian but I have not tried the recipe. 

- If you are in a hurry, you don't have to chill the chicken.  I do it to help marinate and get the flavors in the chicken.  But it taste fine without. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Things I love Thursday V. 2

Today I am going to share who I am loving on social media:


♥ What's up Moms?
A fast paced, funny, and how to videos on YouTube.  

♥ VintageorTacky
Vintageortacky is a beauty and style channel featuring Cora's obsession with eclectic beauty and plus size style.
♥Kendall Rae
Kendall Rae is a YouTuber who does makeup tutorials and vlogs about makeup, life, getting married, and astrology.
♥Jaclyn Hill
Jacyln Hill is a professional makeup artist and does easy to follow makeup tutorials.
SHAYTARDS follow Shay Carl Bulter's family and everyday life.  

♥Ryan Shedrick (BellaForme)
Blogs about photography, mommy life, and weight loss.
♥Megan MacKay
Megan MacKay is a writer, comedian, and amateur Kayne West impersonator from Toronto, Canada. 



This is not even close to the number of people that I love on social media.  Do you have someone you love on social media?  Let me know, I am always looking to follow new people and while you are at it you can follow me on facebook, instagram, bloglovin, goodreads, pinterest, or twitter

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

'The Duff' review

Note:  This review may contain spoilers for both the book and movie The Duff.





The book is told through seventeen-year-old Bianca Pipers' eyes. She's your typical teenage girl - cynical and insecure. But its a little too much for her when the jerk hottie of her school, Wesley Rush, nicknames her "the Duff."

There is tons of drama on the home front and she needs an escape and she finds one in Wesley. They begin an enemies-with-benefits relationship.

Eventually her feelings come to the surface and she realizes that maybe Wesley isn't as bad as he seems.  But how can Wesley feel the same about her when he has nicknamed her "Duffy"?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Book Review:

D.U.F.F. = Designated Ugly Fat Friend


Ahhh this book gets me right in the feels!  This book brings me back to high school.  No I didn't have an enemies-with-benefits relationship, but I was like Bianca in the fact that I was insecure.  I think most people are, especially when they are teenagers.  And in trying to pretend that she has the perfect life at home even though it's all falling apart on her.  I never lied about my home life - it wasn't that bad- but sometimes I thought about it.  Someone always has a better life than you that you compare yourself to.  It's not right and you shouldn't but everyone does.  

The characters overall were developed enough that I actually cared what happened to them.  Not going to lie with her two best friends being almost the same person, I easily got them confused and even though Jessica plays an important part in the Bianca "before Duff" story, she wasn't really needed and was the only character I felt indifferent to.

Also I really love the banter and snark.  I found it to be more real than most dialog in books. 

“Spanish, huh?" he said, glancing down at the scattered papers as he grabbed them. "Can you say anything interesting?"
"El tono de tu voz hace que queria estrangularme." I stood up and waited for him to hand over my papers.
"That sounds sexy," he said, getting to his feet and handing me the stack of Spanish work he'd swept together. "What's it mean?"
"The sound of your voice makes me want to strangle myself."
"Kinky.”


Some people are put off because Bianca uses sex as a distraction from her life but honestly we all use something to distract ourselves from life (food, books, drugs, exercising, alcohol, etc) and it's not as if she sleeps around - she only sleeps with Wesley Rush.

Another plus for this book is NO INSTA-LOVE!!!  I can't even begin to tell you how many books have that instant "I look at you, know nothing about you, but I am in love with you!" going on.

I give this book five cherry cokes (thrown in Wesley Rush's face??).  It shows real feelings and situations, the characters are lovable and developed, and the story flows at a great pace.




and now the movie...


 I was fangirl giddy about seeing this movie.  I just love when a book I adore gets turned into a movie.  

The movie is based loosely on the book. The best friends Casey and Jess are a little different than the book, Wesley has an on again/off again relationship with the school mean girl, Wesley and Bianca decide to come to an agreement to un-Duff Bianca and in turn she will help him pass science, they are neighbors and have a sorta history together, Bianca lives with her mom and her dad was the one that left, lots of social media references, Bianca gets bullied, Toby is more of a jerk, etc.  

If you go in expecting the same as the book you will be disappointed, but if you go in and think of this as a companion to the book or even a completely different entity, then you will love it.   

Bianca is subjected to a lot of bullying.  First, Wesley does it unintentionally when he designates her the D.U.F.F.  He doesn't mean to hurt her feelings - he truly thought what he was saying was ok but it really hurts Bianca and makes her start to question everything.

Then mean girl and Wesley's ex, Madison, notices that Wesley is giving more attention to Bianca (she doesn't know about the arrangement) and takes things to a new level.  She does everything from threatening her to stay away to posting a video to social media of Bianca embarrassingly confessing her love for Toby.  Because of the video, people in school start making fun of her and calling her names.  

In one scene, her newspaper teacher makes the comment the pen is mightier than the sword and Bianca answers with yes obviously because with the video and other bullying feels like an atomic bomb.  I think that is a great moment in the movie.  It shows the real feeling of bullying.  I'm not say this movie will end bullying but I think its a step in the right direction of helping to stop bullying.  

Overall I am in love with the movie but I do have a couple of little problems with it.  Even though Robbie Amell isn't the oldest actor to portray a teenager in this movie (Nick Eversman is two years older; Robbie and Mae are the same age), he doesn't look like a teenage - more like an adonis, a gift from Heaven, a MAN!  He is gorgeous and don't get me start on his body (Those damn Amell cousins have seriously amazing genes!!).  His acting was great and he was funny.  I would have liked to see a more teenaged looking actor. (Don't get me wrong Robbie Amell did an amazing job!)

My second issue is that I would have loved to see this movie set in college.  I think the movie could have been more like the book plus they could have included the sex without it being awkward (teen movie and causal sex = no no!).  Robbie Amell would have been a great college guy plus we could have seen more shirtless scenes but hey maybe that's just me.  

Even with those two little nitpicks I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and give it 4.5 flannel shirts.  I would recommend anyone who loves to laugh to watch it.




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day


I think this is the first year I haven't made Irish Carbomb Cupcakes.

but we did have a mischievous little leprechaun come visit us last night. 




and I hate to say this but St. Patrick's Day sneaked up on me this year.  

But my son enjoyed our little fun. 

So here's to green beer, cabbage, and not getting pinched! 




Sunday, March 15, 2015

Photo Dump V.1

We had a pretty awesome weekend.

Date night.  Apple pie.  Crawfish.  Family.


Want to see more?  You can follow me on instagram, twitter, or facebook.



Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Pi Day

March 14th

3.14

Pi Day.

Pi(e) Day.

Yes, please.


In honor of Pi Day, I attempted my first apple pie.  


Ingredients:



- 1 pack of premade crust (I buy the 2 pack of rolled up crust)
- 5/6 apples (I used Gala this time, sometimes I use Granny Smith apples) 
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon 
- 2 dashes nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp water

Directions:

01.  Preheat oven to 425.
02.  Roll out one of the crust and press into a floured pie dish.
03.  Cover the crust with parchment paper/cling wrap.  If you use parchment paper you will need marbles or beans to hold the paper close to the crust.
04.  Place in fridge to chill.
05.  Peel, core, and cut apples into slices.
06.  Toss slices with lemon juice.
07.  Add the sugars, flour, and seasons mixture to apple slices.  Toss the slices.
08.  Spoon the apples into the chilled crust.
09.  Put small pieces of butter in with the apples.
10.  Unroll the remaining crust and place over apples.
11.  Press the top crust and bottom crust edges together.
12.  Cut slits into top of crust.  You can also do lattice or designs in your pie.
13.  Mix egg and water together to make egg wash.
14.  Brush pie lightly with egg wash.
15.  If you have a pie crust shield put it on now. If you don't have a pie crust shield, you can put tinfoil around the edge about 15 mins in.
16.  Put pie into oven for 30-35 minutes or until its bubbling and the crust browned.
17.  Let sit for about 30 mins.



It looks and smells delicious!  I can't wait to cut into this.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Things I love Thursday V.1

this video. 

Arrow is my guilty pleasure.

this book.

♥that most of the books i love are being made into movies:  The Duff, The Longest Ride, Paper Towns, Mockingjay (Part 2),

♥This movie room:


♥How wonderful is Matt McGory?!?


♥Eleanor and Park art:

♥ These rainy days I get to spend with my husband before he goes back to work.  


What are some things that you are loving on this week?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

International Women's Day

"In 1995, at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, leaders from governments and civil society around the world came together and committed to ensuring that women and girls have the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of life.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of that moment. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the No Ceilings initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation have joined forces to gather data and analyze the gains made for women and girls over the last two decades, as well as the gaps that remain.
This site and The Full Participation Report are the result—home to 850,000 data points, spanning more than 20 years, from over 190 countries. Through data visualizations and stories, we aim to present the gains and gaps in understandable, sharable ways—including by making the data open and easily available.
To know how far we need to go to achieve the full participation of women and girls, we have to know how far we have come.
We invite you to explore the site, dig deeper into these stories, share pieces that move you, download the data, and join us in our effort to address the great unfinished business of the 21st century."  -not-there.org

*Interesting facts: 
01.  At least 500 million women and girls lack a private place to change their sanitary protection during mensutration.  This is equivalent to every female living in developed countries.
02.  Close to half of all girls aged 15-19 worldwide think a husband is sometimes justified in hitting or beating his wife.
03.  The overall chance that a girl will undergo Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting today is about one third lower than it was three decades ago.
04.  Women perform 66% of the world's work and produce 50% of the food.  They earn just 10% of incomes and own 1% of the property globally. 
05.  In nearly every country, women work longer hours than men and are paid less.
06.  Women with full time jobs still earn about 77% compared to their male counterparts' earnings.
07.  62 million girls are denied education all over the world.
08.  Women around the world aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war, and malaria.


So what does International Women's Day mean to me?

It means my daughter/niece/cousin/aunt/any girl I know/I will have the same opportunity that a male has.  If she chooses to go into a male dominated field of work, she can without discrimination.  If she chooses to walk down the street, she can without fear of being rape or abused.  If she chooses to speak her mind, she can without fear of beatings, arrests, or even being killed.  If she chooses to get an education, she can without fear of being shot. 

It means she can work where she wants with equal pay, equal opportunities.  It means she can have equal education.  It means she can have equal rights. 

It means NO FEAR.
It means BEING EQUAL.
It means being able to live a FULFILLED LIFE.




 ---------
*01-03 Heavy
04-05 TheGlobalist
06-08 Maker

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Yesterday

we took a mental health/educational field trip/
mommy needs this as much as you do day off from school.


we visited the Audubon Aquarium of Americas in New Orleans. 


(JJ - 2015)

(me-2006..same seahorse...many years apart)

I know we wont get many days like this in the future. 



first, school is going to get more intense and missing a day will result in tons of makeup work.



then, my son may eventually grow to realize i'm not cool enough to hang out with. and that day i will spend crying in the corner rocking in a back and forth.



finally, i don't want to miss out on the joy and excitement he gets when we enjoy a family day at the aquarium.  



while we were enjoying the aquatic animals, we also went to IMAX.


Before watching this movie, I would say I was like most people and afraid of sharks.  But this movie really opened my eyes.  And I have also added cage diving to my bucket list.  

Did you know that sharks are being caught and killed faster than they can reproduce? Mostly for shark fin soup.  soup.  let that sink in. soup.  

And that most sharks are close to extinction (some up to 99% extinct)?  Seriously?! in 2015?! With the resources and knowledge that we have I can not even fathom why any species would be close to extinction or extinct. I literally can't. 

What can you do?  

Check out OceanaWildAid, or Bite-Back.  Educate yourself. 






Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Let's re-introduce ourselves...

Shall we? 
 
I have a nasty habit of giving up on blogging but I can never get far away from it. 
 
This time I decided to start fresh.  I have a new blog design thanks to Lauren at TeachPrayLove Designs.  I am also going to be working with her to spruce up my facebook page and twitter page.
 
I will also not hold myself up to what I believe I have to blog.  I will write about what I want this time.  And if I happen to not blog for a week, well, so be it.

I mostly blog about family life, crafts, recipes, and weight loss.  But every now and then something else pops up.  I don't focus on one topic, I am usually all over the place.  (Maybe adult ADD?!)

You can learn more about me on my about page.  I will update it periodically. 

I actually look forward to blogging and can't wait to share the adventure with you!