Thursday, April 30, 2015

a book at the hospital....GASP!

Tomorrow is a Remicade Infusion day for my oldest daughter, which means packing up and driving out to the childrens hospital not long after we wake up. Her infusions last at least 3 hours long (sometimes much longer), and I never take a book. Why? OCD. I equate a hospital with germs, which means I bring the least amount of things so that the least amount of things are contaminated. It also means I avoid touching just about everything, and I sanitize my hands a zillion times. Not only am I on high alert for myself, but my daughter as well, as she has a compromised immune system. The hospital is a major trigger for my OCD, and a lot of my OCD trails back to that...germ infested place. But, I have been getting a lot better. I don't feel so full of anxiety while I am there (though I still avoid everything as much as I can). One thing I have decided to try and change is bringing a book with me. My books are precious, and probably one of my possessions that I would least like to have the possibility of becoming contaminated, especially since you cannot really fully sanitize a book. And by contaminated, I am going by my distorted OCD mind, where if I see my book, say, in the same eyeshot as an overflowing nasty garbage is contaminated. Even though my eyes are aware that my book did not touch it, my mind says....WOAH! I saw that grossness, and my book was too close....contaminated!
The Second Summer of the Sisterhood (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, #2)So, tonight I am thinking about which book I want to start, which one I am willing to take with us to the childrens hospital tomorrow, the book that will be my introduction to this change that I can hopefully enact during our Remicade days. I have been having an urge to continue on in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I read the first book a while back and loved it. I purchased all 4 books together, used on Amazon I believe, for a very inexpensive price. Maybe The Second Summer of the Sisterhood will be the book? 
Dead Men Don't Crochet (Crochet Mystery, #2)It is a little bit of a bigger book though, compared to paperbacks, which makes me a little nervous. Silly, I know, but I may pick a smaller paperback for this first trip. Smaller in my mind means I can keep it away from everything germy easier....if that is the case, I may opt for the second book in the Crochet Mystery series, Dead Men Don't Crochet. I read the first book in that series and thought it was super fun, probably mainly because the main character crochets and has a crochet circle at the bookstore...could it be more perfect? I own all of the books that are out in that series so far and need to start reading through them.
Now it is time for bed and choosing a book to start tonight before I fall asleep, one that I will be brave enough to bring with tomorrow and continue on reading while my oldest daughter lays in a hospital bed and watches some movies...

cranes...cranes...and more cranes!

I've had origami cranes on my mind the past few days. I am not sure what triggered it, but it isn't uncommon to have the little paper pretties to come fluttering into my mind. I don't know if I have mentioned before, but I do love folding paper cranes. I really adore the true story of Sadako Sasaki, which you can read more about here. I have read that book, too, and loved it. I also have a personal belief that the cranes do help to create peace within, and then also holding that peaceful energy long after in the paper crane itself. I actually have over 600 paper cranes folded, grouped together and hung in different rooms throughout our house. I have bunches by each of our beds, and one bright colorful strand by my own bed that cheers me up when I am feeling low.
I will guess that cranes have been on my mind because I have been having a harder time connecting with energy lately to do energy work, and folding cranes has really always helped align me to where I needed to be, to a more peaceful state that allows me to be more perceptive. So I am sure I am needing to fold a few lately. I don't usually use origami papers, as I always find them so expensive.
Most in our house have been folded with thinner scrapbook papers, but I also have a huge stack of post-it type square papers (without the sticky), and I have long forgotten about. I dug them out tonight. They are such bright pretty colors (the papers I used to fold the strand by my own bed). I believe I paid less than $5 for a stack of 1,000 squares, all the colors of the rainbow! I decided tonight that I would use those, and maybe decorate them a bit with my stamps. I had fun creating little prints on that papers. I like to fold a bunch to hang in our house, and sometimes I fold a strand especially for someone dear to me, such as my mom. I got some Halloween papers a couple years ago and folded her a strand with lots of Halloween colors. But I also like to fold random cranes and leave them places while I am out, well, I use to. I haven't done so in a long while, but I should start that up again. I liked to take receipts (our copies) at restaurants and fold them into cranes and leave it with the signed copy...just for smiles! Anyways, I thought I might share a picture of some of my paper cranes, and my own stamped patterns I created tonight!

Random Readathon April 2015

Well, since we didn't get fully enjoy the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon last Saturday, I promised my girls that I would have a readathon with them sometime this week. Yesterday, we had our little readathon that I decided to label Random Readathon, simply because it was random, and I may possibly have another Random Readathon with my girls in the future!
It was an all day affair, though with kids involved, it turned into a lot of book challenges over reading, as my youngest would read in intervals of about 20 minutes and then be bored and wanting a break. I believe our readathon also didn't last long after lunch rolled around, but it was all good fun!
My youngest read a lot of her new book The Long Haul, book #9 in Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, written by Jeff Kinney. That series is her favorite at the moment, and she has been flying through them. She actually read most of that most yesterday, and actually finished it! What an accomplishment on our first Random Readathon!!
My oldest finished City of the Rats, book #3 in Deltora Quest series, written by Emily Rodda. Then she dipped into several other novels. She too finished a book, so what an accomplishment for her as well!!
As for me, I finished reading Found, book #1 in The Missing series, written by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I already posted my review of the book, so feel free to check that out as well! I am quite pleased that we each finished one book on our first Random Readathon!
Now, for the fun stuff. Since we had a lot of breaks, I had to come up with a lot of challenges on a whim, to help keep things fun and interesting. I wont go into the details of all our choices, because that would be a lot of work! But I will share our challenges in case one of you might want to start up a fun Random Readathon with the children in your life!


#1- A wicked witch captures you and puts in a deep, dark, dungeon. She tells you, in a creepy, croaky voice that you will never leave the dungeon, but she will bring you one book, one book only, to keep yourself entertained. What book do you want from the witch?

#2- What is the book you own that has the most beautiful cover in your eyes?

#3- You are setting off on a quest that will take you approximately 6 months to complete. You will be carrying all of your supplies in a backpack that you will wear, but you will also have a companion that is a mini donkey. This mini donkey can only carry a small box of books for you, the box being the size of a Raman Noodle box (you know, those boxes that contain 12 packages of Raman Noodles). What books do you put in the box for your mini donkey to carry?

#4- It is the end of the world. There are aliens attacking Earth, destroying everything. Your family discovers a portal that will take you to a new planet to live amongst a different alien race, a peaceful alien race. You don't have much time to pack, and you can only bring what you can carry. You place all your necessities into a backpack that you wear, and grab a few books that you can hold in your hands. What books do you grab to carry off into the portal? Remember, Earth will be destroyed, leaving no books to survive. Whatever books you choose will be the only books to survive in this new world from your home planet.

#5- This is a continuation of the last challenge. Now that you have your backpack on, the few books in your hands that you can carry, you and your family are off! Not long after heading towards the portal, aliens spot you and begin to chase you and your family. You end up having to drop all the books you are carrying so that you can run faster, except for one book. You try hard to cling onto one book as you flee through the streets to make it to the portal before the aliens reach you. What is the one book that you will hold onto and bring through the portal into your knew life? Only ONE of the few books that  already had in your hands! 

#6- Take a sheet of paper and create a book cover. Create the title of the book, the illustrations, do whatever you want!

Feel free to have fun with these questions and answer them on your own blog if you want! Or better yet...throw that Random Readathon with some friends around you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix Book Review

Found (The Missing, #1)Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finished Found today, the first book in The Missing series written by Margaret Peterson Haddix. It was quite a fast read, and one that pulled you in and held your interest the entire way through. It is a science fiction book that is revolving around time traveling, with a unique storyline that is actually pretty creative. The entire book follows three children, a Jonah and Kathrine (brother and sister) and their neighbor, Chip. The three of them together are trying to unravel a big mystery that involves strangers, people and things disappearing before their eyes, intruders, the FBI, and all sorts of things that will have you reading one, waiting to see what comes next. I will say, this book is highly saturated with adoption. I think that some children who are adopted might find this book comforting, in that "someone feels like me" sentiment, while others it could be damaging. Even within the book, Chip discovers he is adopted, which sends him into a downward spiral of an identity crisis, sharing everything he is going through with Jonah. This in turn, causes Jonah, who is also adopted but quite happy with his life, to head down the same path. I am not sure that is the best for all children to read about that are adopted.

Also, I thought the writer didn't handle the topic up kidnapping very tastefully. Why it was even interjected into the storyline so many times, is beyond me. It was unnecessary. But there was plenty of times the three kids were running around doing investigative work that was, of course, slightly dangerous to be doing at their age, leaving them to be making light comments about "what if we get kidnapped" type of thing. Every time it was mentioned, I got the feel that it was almost like a joke, like they were saying...O-well, if we get kidnapped! That was kind of disturbing for me, coming from the point of view of a mother who is well aware that an actual real kidnapping is a terrible thing, and a lot of times, life threatening. I found it to be quite insensitive and poor judgment for the author to keep including these comments. Children do not need to be taught that kidnapping is nothing to be serious about. I really didn't like that in the book.

There was also a moment in the book where they were trying to explain how a ripple in time is created, by giving the example of if you go back in time and kill your grandmother, the paradox that creates for your existence. Why choose to pick writing about going back to kill your grandmother to explain this? There is probably a ton of other ways the author could have chose to express this idea, or at least word it in a way that wasn't slightly creepy to be thinking of a bunch of kids reading this in a casual manner. I don't think that authors need to lightly introduce, in an insensitive manner, topics such as kidnapping or killing grandmothers. It was a bit strange for me.

Aside from those things, the book was pretty good. It was a very creative science fiction book, and I love time traveling tales. I am curious to read on in the series, but I am not sure I will be racing out to the library to gather the next books up anytime soon. Also, I would feel comfortable with my own children reading this book, however, that is because I know they understand the seriousness of these topics, and I know they would probably be thinking the same thoughts I am while reading it. I know not all children are taught about these topics by an adult with the appropriate intent, giving the correct message and information on such serious topics, so I don't think this book is best for all children.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

a rekindled love

For whatever reason lately, I have once again discovered my love for middle grade books. I think my mind is just so incredibly serious, too serious for my own good, that I tend to try to hunt out novels to match that, either in topic or emotion. That generally lands me amongst the classics, which I do love...but I can rarely get myself to read much anymore. I seem to have those lovely favorites (Great Expectations) that I feel just can't be topped, and enter into the books with too high of expectations and quickly find myself tossing it aside when it isn't met early on in the novel. I think the only classic that I've truly been pulled in to read in a long time has been The Count of Monte Cristo, which I've just been hesitant in starting that monster of a book now that I have the unabridged version.
Now, my mother loves going to garage sales whenever she can and finds great deals on middle grade books (such as $.25 a book sometimes!) for my girls and sends them our way. We have an abundance of wonderful series, all in pretty hardbacks that look to be new....that are not being read, simply because my daughters' have different interests at the moment. I couldn't get myself to be rid of them though, and have just been moving around these stacks of middle grade series from one room in our house to another. A couple of weeks ago I decided to pick up Midnight for Charlie Bone, the first book in Children of The Red King series. I was reminded how much I really enjoy reading books from this 9-12 year age group; they are just fun! I think sometimes I have these labels of age groups stuck in my mind and I don't even realize it. Middle grade books is something I know a lot about, I browse through them all the time finding ones that are interesting, but never really pick them up for myself- just because, I guess my mindset is that I need to find a more serious, adult book for myself. I have been so wrong though! I was flooded with memories of other middle grade books that I have read and thoroughly enjoyed over the years (my adult years), and found myself wondering why I haven't acknowledge that I should be indulging myself in these magical tales all the time!
So, I think you will be hearing a lot more about books from this genre more often on my blog. I am guessing I must need them to help balance me out in some way. I am also guessing that my college background (I have a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education) has me relating quite easily to these books. I am also hoping that reading middle grade books will help to bring some creativity to the surface that has been hidden for some time, as I use to write a lot of stories for children in this age group and would like to do so again. Anyways....I'm sure I rambled on enough! Now I will share some series that we have floating around in our house not really belonging to anyone in specific that I intend to read through:
Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)
Inkworld Trilogy by Cornelia Funke. We own all 3 books.
Midnight for Charlie Bone (The Children of the Red King, #1)
Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo. We own all 8 in the series.
Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo (Leven Thumps, #1)
Leven Thumps series by Obert Sky. We own all 5 in the series.
The Tail of Emily Windsnap (Emily Windsnap, #1)
Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler. I believe we own at least 3 of the 6 books in this series.
Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles, #1)
Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy. The first book in this series actually does have an! As of this past weekend, it was one of my two books that I couldn't part with in the bookstore. So far there is 3 books out in this series. I have really high hopes for this book series and hope I fall in love with it. This first book really reminds me of Into the Woods by Lyn Gardner, and I loved that book. I believe Lyn Gardner also wrote a sequel titled Out of the Woods that I should probably also read...which by the way, if you love fun fairytale mash-ups, I would definitely pick up Into the Woods!
So, I have a lot of books just laying around our house that are begging to be read. Aside from those books I listed, there are also other series that my girls own and love that I am sure they would be tickled to have me asking to borrow. I think all of these books will keep me busy for quite a while! I think I am also going to really try harder to use our local library more often, as opposed to buying books. I think with reading middle grade readers, I feel that it is easier for me to do so, which I know doesn't make any sense! However, if I do love Wildwood as much as I am thinking I will....I most definitely will cave in and buy the next two. I just have a feeling they will be books that I will want to reread a lot. Anything else that strikes my fancy, I will be pulling off a library shelf!

books about living in or moving to France

I know I've mentioned once or twice, but something I really really love to do, just about anytime, is search things, looking things up online. After going through college, I think I learned how to navigate the web quite efficiently so that I can find just about any information I am looking for in a matter of minutes. Being as I am a book lover as well, books are one thing that I can browse through and search for hours at a time, anytime. I tend to get a curiosity about a specific theme in a book and see what I can find that strikes my fancy. Anyways, I thought I might start sharing some lists of interesting finds on here, for nothing more that just simply fun.
Ever since I went to that larger used book store this past weekend, I've had a book in my mind that I put back on the shelf, limiting myself to only 2 books. I just couldn't give up the two I already had in my hands! Anyways, it was a book about Paris, which has left me craving to read something beautifully fun revolving around French life. are a few books I discovered today:

Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)
Paris, My Sweet, by Amy Thomas. This is the book I had to place back on the shelf this weekend. It looked quite tasty!

Hidden in Paris
Hidden in Paris, by Corine Gantz. Another lovely enticing read!

Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France
Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France, by Vivian Swift. This book just looks like it would be so much fun to look through. This might be a book I just try to get my hands on sometime in the far far future!

Paris Letters
Paris Letters, by Janice Macleod. Again, adorable story line.

The French House: An American Family, a Ruined Maison, and the Village That Restored Them All
The French House, by Don Wallace. I read a review that said this was reminiscent of The Money Pit, which just sounds utterly fun with a French setting.

My Grape Escape
My Grape Escape, which is followed by a second book titled My Grape Village, both written by Laura Bradbury. Another story based on the life altering decision to just up and move to France!

Bout of Books 13

I stumbled upon Bout of Books through the blogosphere and thought it sounded like fun! I really enjoyed making an effort to read as much as I could during the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon, so I wanted to bring a bit more of that into my life. It seems to be pulling me out of my reading funk and back to enjoying a few new books lately. If you are interested in learning what Bout of Books is all about, here is some info:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.    - From the Bout of Books team

Sunday, April 26, 2015

the tiny bobble

"For you, Darling," said the old woman. A long black cloak draped over her hunched body, the hood covering her face.
"For me?" The young girl said, perplexed by the object being held out towards her. It was a silver metal of sort, twisted and crinkled into a small ball, almost like vines, with a glowing red light peeking out from within. "What is it?"
The old woman smiled a crooked smile deep in the darkness of her hood. "Why, it is a bobble, Darling, a bobble."
The young girl moved a little closer so that her eyes could investigate the details of the bobble more closely. "I don't understand."
"What is there to understand?" The old woman declared as her other hand waved off doubts in the air. "It is simply a bobble, just for you." She pushed the bobble closer to the young girl so that it almost touched her nose...almost.
The girl blinked her bright blue eyes several times and tried to peer into the hood to see the woman's face. She thought she saw a flash of fire flames, but shook her head and focused once again on the glowing red light before her. "But why is it for me?"
"Why not?" Offered the old woman, her smile growing.
The young girl reached her right hand out, hovering just above the metal bobble, hesitating.
"Go one, take it, Darling," the old woman coaxed.
The girl took a deep breath and grabbed the bobble, feeling its hotness against her palms. "Why is it so hot?" She asked, once again trying to peer into the hood.
"Because it is working, Darling," the woman answered as she began to cackle a horribly. She flicked her black hood off her head to reveal a wrinkled face, green like a frog. Her nose was twisted and crooked with a large brown wart that dangled from the end. Her ghastly teeth were covered in grime as she raised her hands. The winds began to pick up, lightning flashed across the sky.
"What is happening!" The young girl exclaimed as the bobble seemed to melt into her hand. Small scales pierced through her skin, covering her arms and face.
"What have you done to me?" Lightning drowned out the girl's screaming as her body continued to change and morph until she no longer resembled a young girl with bright blue eyes.
"Now come, my sweet one," the old woman called as she turned and headed for the nearby woods. A small red lizard like creature slithered behind her, its forked tongue darting out in all directions.
"You must come and meet the others."

Midnight for Charlie Bone book review and Readathon update

Midnight for Charlie Bone (The Children of the Red King, #1)Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would probably give this book a 3.5 star rating if it would let me. It was a fun book, full of magical abilities, friendship, and eerie circumstances. Charlie discovers he is a descendant from The Red King, who was a magician wielding magical abilities. The book starts with Charlie just discovering his abilities, which whisks him off on an adventure, including new friends, a new school, new villains, and a lot of adventure for a ten year old boy. I thought it was cute, and held my interest throughout the entire book. The only thing I disliked was that there was an overwhelming amount of mean people in this book, some whom were adults in Charlie's own family. It was a little off-putting, but the positivity amongst Charlie and his friends made it easier to focus on the fun of it all. There are some very slight scary parts, more just really eerie, but for a kid that doesn't do well with that sort of thing, they might not want to pick it up. There is also a scene where an animal is injured pretty badly, which also might bother some children. I know my own ten year old daughter wouldn't like to read this book because of those two things, however, I'm sure there are a lot of kids that would absolutely love this book!
Like some others have mentioned when reviewing this book, the ending is fast. The book winds down to one last detail that needs to be taken care of, which would have been a good moment for the author to add a last bit of adventure, which seems like where it is going by how it is written up to that point. Then...BAM! It is immediately solved with basically no opposition, which was kind of weird, and unrealistic compared to the rest of the book. That literally doesn't happen until the last ten pages of the book. It is, however, pretty awesome how it is resolved, but I think the author could have at least added some things to fill it in a little more for it to not feel so rushed.
Overall...I'd recommend this book to anyone that is looking for an adventurous middle grade read.

View all my reviews

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon final update:
I ended up not staying up too late last night. I wished I had been able to so that I could have gotten some more reading in! But, I did at least finish Midnight for Charlie Bone before I fell asleep, bringing my reading total up to 201 pages. Probably pretty sad for a readathon, but not too bad for me personally, especially on a day that was also a family outing day. I am happy that I at least finished a book, it makes me feel like I accomplished something on a day that I probably wouldn't have pick up a book!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

2 new books and a readathon update

We went out today for our family day! Enjoying the crisp air (yes, it was a tad chilly again today, sweatshirt weather) and sunshine was nice. We drove a couple towns over to visit a larger used book store, as both series my daughters are reading are never found in our local store. I wanted to get them each the next two books in their series, but unfortunately, there was only one in each series available. My oldest got Fire Star, the 3rd book in The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D'Lacey and the 5th book in The Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson. My youngest got The Long Haul in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the Do-It-Yourself Book by Jeff Kinney. So they are happy little girls tonight

Found (The Missing, #1) As for me, I get overwhelmed in bookstores, and tend to just finding myself meandering around aimlessly, so if I know a bookstore trip is coming up I try to write down books I know I want so I can seek them out easier. I didn't seem to find anything I was looking for. I wanted to get the first few books in The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I have been wanting to read this series for quite a while, however, I was only able to get my hands on the first book today, Found (hardcover for $3). At least I will be able to give the series a start and find out if I like it or not. That was really the only book I could find today that I was wanting.

Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles, #1)I did stumbled upon the book Wildwood by Colin Meloy, again. This book is a bit strange for me, I tend to see it frequently, always pulling it off the shelf and thinking it is beautifully intriguing. It is really a striking book. Today, I decided to get it (beautiful hardcover for $8, it is over 500 pages). I think it might be perfect for a few themes I was wanting to read. It appears to be some sort of a fairytale-ish adventure with creatures, villains, and even anthropomorphism. To be honest, I have been craving all three of those characteristics in a book lately, so it might be perfect! I believe there is also three books in this series (or is it just a trilogy?), so I am hoping I may find some other books to read from here.

Now for the my progress with the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon, which is not very much! I did get some reading in this morning, reading 82 pages in Midnight for Charlie Bone, then I got sleepy and took a nap! I have been having a lot of insomnia lately, so I dosed off while I could. I will probably continue on reading some of Midnight for Charlie Bone tonight until I go to bed. Not sure if I will stay up let to get more reading in or not, I will just see how the night goes...

Friday, April 24, 2015

dolls and books

I passed my oldest daughter's bedroom, where both my girls tend to play, and saw something that made me smile:
I cannot believe I am seeing books being pulled into heir play with their dolls! That makes me incredibly happy. My oldest daughter was always a reader, always loved books. I remember when she was a toddler, she gravitated to playing with board books over other toys. She will engage in book talk with me anytime of the day and fawn over beautiful books with me. But my youngest, she absolutely hated reading and anything related to reading up until about this past year. She despised reading, books, magazines, and had no problem expressing it. My heart has been melting a lot this year, watching her grow to love books and reading. She grabs a book to read every night before she falls asleep because she "probably should", and grabs a book to read first thing in the morning when I wake her. I even catch her reading books here and there throughout the day. Not only is that happening, she sets her Kristoff doll up to be looking over the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series while a bunch of other dolls are enjoying some other wonderful books! It is fun to see. 

readathon fun tomorrow!

So, apparently tomorrow is the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. I have never heard of this before, and I feel so ashamed, deprived, and lonely to not have been participating in this event the past 8 years it has been running! Tomorrow is actually our family day, which is in much need lately as my husband has changed to grave shift, making quality time with him scarce. However, my daughters and I really want to have fun with all the other people participating in this readathon, and will do our best to get in as much reading around our family day as possible. We may actually get in a good chunk of reading waiting for my husband to wake up, but because we will have other things on our agenda tomorrow, I have promised my daughters that later this week we will fully celebrate reading and have a 24 hour readathon with the three of us. What girly fun that will be! Plus, tomorrow we are planning to visit a huge used book store that is a couple of towns over, so we should have lots to dig into then. Even though we will be reading as much as possible tomorrow, I will not be officially signing up for the event, but will be sharing on my blog what I read and how much.
Midnight for Charlie Bone (The Children of the Red King, #1)
Now, what am I planning to read tomorrow? I am always so fickle, so what I plan to read a lot of times tends to change the second I sit down and open the book. But, I do want to finish up Midnight for Charlie Bone, which is the first in a series. If I do get that finished, I would like to get started on the second book, as I am loving the fun of this series. I have also been wanting to dig into a Star Wars book lately, but have been too lazy to get started. I have a few in my stash that I haven't read yet, plus I have been considering rereading a few I own. Not sure which one will catch my interest tomorrow, but hopefully I will be able to pick one up at some point throughout the day. I have also had Sense and Sensibility on my mind lately. Other than that, I am not too organized about this event, I will just go with the flow!
How about you? Are any of my blog readers participating in this event? Did you know about this readathon?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

snowflakes in april?

LOVED watching The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift last night. It was just as good as I remembered, and my youngest watched a small portion of it with me last night and liked what she saw. When I was tucking her into bed she asked if I would watch the movie again with her, to which I answered, "Of course!". The weather has been so lovely here lately, it has been nice venturing outside this past week, enjoying the sunshine. I could do without allergies, however. Sneezing nonstop today has not been fun!
I have been thinking about pulling out my crochet thread and snowflake pattern book. I don't know why, but I usually find myself wanting to crochet snowflakes in the warmer months. Doesn't make sense, I suppose, but I think in my mind I find the snowflakes delicate and airy, which I relate more to in the summer months. One of these summers I would like to just crochet a whole bunch of bright white snowflakes, starch them all to hang on our Christmas tree. I do have a few already, but I always envision the tree being showered in the crochet snowflakes. I would also like to work my way through and crochet all of the 99 snowflake patterns in the book I have. I have definitely not tried all of them yet and think that would be fun. As for tonight, I will be enjoying new episodes of The Vampire Diaries, Reign, and Elementary. My favorite night in television!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

journal morphing...and Tokyo

I was thinking last night, wondering why I am creating a list journal when I have been keeping a gardening journal to record what is going on with my indoor herb plants. I love having some artistic fun in my new little journal, especially using my fun tiny stamps in colorful ways, but I have to admit, I really don't have my heart set on a list journal. It is fun, but I realized I would have just as much fun recording my gardening happenings in the same manner! I am trying to keep myself focusing on my herbs, sort of forcing myself to keep that up in my life, as it is easy to forget about, but is something that I know makes me very happy to remember. I really love the idea of spreading out that love into some artwork on a small level. SO...I am morphing my list/art journal into my new gardening journal. I have been keeping a pretty sloppy record up until now that I will put into my new book with all my stamps and markers, and continue on to record my plants in the same manner. I will probably still do some List My Life posts, as they are fun, but I may save those posts for more of a substantial read compared to what I've been sharing. I will also probably share some of my gardening journal pages when I have one that I especially love. Isn't it fun when you have an aha! moment?
On another, completely unrelated note...I finally found The fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift movie! That is probably the only movie in that series that I really like, and after seeing the series in Target not that long ago, I have been wanting to watch this movie again like crazy. It was not on Netflix or Hulu, and cost money on demand, money I would rather put towards owning the movie.  Everywhere I go seems to sell all the others in the series except Tokyo Drift, but I found it in Blu-Ray at Best Buy today (surprisingly for only $6.99- they had no DVDs). This is just one of those random movies that I find myself wanting to watch whenever something reminds me of it, and I am happy to finally own it! I think later tonight after my hubby goes to work and my girls are all done with their school work and off playing together, I will relax and watch this movie...with some yummy sweet potato chips and seasoned chickpeas to snack on. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ten beautiful movies

I've seen a top ten list for most beautiful movies moving through all the blog lately, so I thought I'd join in. I'm not sure if it is anything official in the ways of blogger tags, or if anyone specifically created it, however, I think it was simply a post created first by Oliva from Meanwhile, in Rivendell. I can't say for certain if this is really my top ten, I had a hard time putting this list together. I suppose when I watch movies, the beauty isn't really always was stays in my mind, but rather the story. So I was trying to think back over my favorite movies and figure out which ones were actually beautiful. Anyways, here is rough list of movies that I find beautiful in one way or another (some titles linked to a trailer), in no particular order:

1. The Forbidden Kingdom
The story is amazing and some of the characters and places are beautiful to see. This is a great fairy tale with such wonderful characters, with a backdrop of beautiful Japan.
2. Mirror Mirror
The costumes in this movie are so creative and bold and fun to look at. So many beautiful colors and patterns! Not to mention that the evil queen captures a very creepy beauty.
3. The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy
The love story of Padme and Anakin is beautiful. I also find it beautiful to watch how environments and other people can shift and change one into something completely unlike how they began in this world. An eerie beautiful.
4. Disney's Enchanted
I just thought this story was beautifully crafted. I love how it has so many classic fairy tale characteristics, and how all the characters find their love in the end. I seriously cried the first few times I watched this movie. I just always thought this movie was truly a perfect retelling of a fairy tale.
5. Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movies
I love tales on the sea and all that good stuff. I think all the ship scenes are wonderful to look at. I think just about anything with the ocean is beautiful.
6. Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
This whole movie is just magical to watch. I love how so many things are given life with such power that are generally overlooked. It is a beauty that our current world needs to acknowledge more.
7. Titanic
This movie is beautiful. I love how they created the love story of two people that pulls the audience in and makes them care deeply about a historic event that was so tragic. It is also incredibly beautiful because of the music! I love this soundtrack...
8. Medicine Man
I saw this movie when I was pretty young and have loved in since. I love the message, which is bittersweet, and I love the scenery of the Amazon jungle an people.
9. Chocolat
I love the beauty of this tiny French town and all of its unique people, especially the very beginning.
10. Elizabeth the Golden Age
Queen Elizabeth's strength and power will always be beautiful to me, and Cate Blanchett portrays her perfectly in this movie.

List My Life #4

The way of Mondays...

1. enjoying fresh air and sunshine
2. shopping
3. my girls' dance class
4. groceries
5. eating out

my new art case

I took my girls to the craft store yesterday before their dance class, as my daughters were really wanting a set of the alphabet stamps to use after seeing me having so much fun with mine. I don't mind sharing, but they are cheap, so I didn't want to risk some kid wear and tear on my own set, and being as they were only $1 a set, I decided to let them each pick out their own. I ended up picking out a third font for myself since I am loving them so much, along with a new case to keep all my stamp and art supplies in.
Here is my new case. I purchased it with a 20% off coupon, so it wasn't expensive. It was actually in the beading isle, intended to store and organize beads for jewelry making. It has 3 compartments that completely separate from one another.
Here is my bottom compartment. It holds my 3 alphabet stamp sets and a new flag stamp set that I also purchased yesterday (again, $1). I thought the flag stamp sets might come in handy. I also have all my paper craft tape, Mary Engelbreight post its, my BIC marker pens, small clear stamping block, and a pair of scissors in this bottom compartment. It holds the majority of all my needed supplies.
Here is a close up photo of my most favorite stamps I 3 alphabet stamp sets. I use them all the time and just love them!
The third compartment is right now being used for all my markers that I use for inkpads. I would like to eventually get a small set of mini markers to cut down on space and maybe completely eliminate the middle compartment. I may eliminate it anyways and store my markers back in my Star Wars pencil case; I am undecided. I will have to see which one is easier to use.
The top compartment holds all my stamps (cling and clear) and my pink book. I did add a few other stamp sets from my small collection (an origami stamp set, a winter/Christmas stamp set, a Julie Nutting paper doll stamp, and some Stampendous stamps) into this compartment, hoping that I will be able to utilize them. I really don't own a lot of stamps, this is most of what I own. I started purchased a few around this past Christmas, all during a 50% off sale.
I am loving my new case and having a lot of fun with all my supplies nicely condensed together for ease!

Monday, April 20, 2015

List My Life #3

My favorite Once Upon a Time Characters:

1. Regina
2. Neil
3. Hook
4. Emma
5. Peter Pan


Sunday, April 19, 2015

my crafty list journaling supplies

I've been having fun listing away in my little book, trying to figure out how I want to do them. I've been experimenting with watercolors, the paper craft tape, stamping, markers, and all the good stuff. I wanted to figure out what I like best before getting too far into the book so that I can kind of create the pages to be somewhat uniform or similar. Here is what I decided that I like:
This is one page that has all of the supplies I decided to keep together.
I will be using all my paper craft tape as little flags, to mark the start of each new list in my book. Using the tape any other way seemed to cut down on a lot of the writing space, which I didn't much like. I am happy that my paper tape will last a long time now, only using them for flags. I also have my Mary Engelbreit flags (or mini post its) in this pencil box as well, with a runner tape dispenser to adhere them to the pages. I have a total of 12 different Mary Engelbreit flags that have butterflies, fairies, and flowers on them, and 19 different paper tapes. I also keep my scissors and the 2 tiny alphabet stamps in this box. Which by the way, I absolutely LOVE the alphabet stamps. I will be getting a ton of use out of these. I still cannot believe they were each only $1.

These are all my tiny stamps that I've collected together to use in my book. I might add a few more that are a tad bit larger, but this is the majority of the stamps I will be using to decorate.
This is how I will be storing all my clear and cling stamps for use in my book. The left side has all of the stamps on plastic sheets that slide into the pocket, the right side has all small sheets of papers with all the stamps on them to make decisions easier. This little folder is actually a very old slipcover to a free pocket calendar planner I got at our dental office. This folds in half and fits nicely in my pencil box with all of the paper tape and alphabet stamps. A small acrylic block that fits all of these tiny clear and cling stamps also fits in my pencil box. I have had the acrylic block for a long time, and only cost me $1. If you are only using those alphabet stamps though, you would not need an acrylic block, as each letter is already mounted on a tiny piece of wood.
This is my Star Wars pencil case filled with cheap Artists Loft markers. I have had these for a while now, they cost $5 for 36 markers. I only use these markers as ink for my stamps (directly used on the page bleeds through). I use them on my alphabet stamps, and any of the other tiny stamps I want to use to decorate. The inkpads I own are too dark and show through to the other page, but these markers do not. I kind of like using them, they give me a lot of color choices. I also keep my BIC marker pens in this case, too.
I cut up a plastic sheet from a packaging to fit in my book nicely. I slip it behind the page I am working on to give me a slightly harder surface, and to keep me from messing up my other pages (I am quite clumsy with stamping).
All of these things will be my main supplies, which makes it easy. Most of it fits in my pencil box, with my inkpads (markers) in my zippered pencil case. I am still trying to decide how I want to add color. So far I have been using a set of chalk pastels I own, but being as they are a tad messy, I will be switching to my Crayola Twistables that I have owned for some time. I am trying to condense my supplies to the very minimal that will give me enough variety to still have fun, simply for ease and for expense.
Here is a short list of similar supplies and their prices, to show how easy it is to start something scrapbook-ishly fun:
1. scissors (you most likely already own)
2. black pen (you most likely already own)
3. alphabet stamps ($1 at A.C. Moore's, or you could look up fonts online and practice doing them by hand)
4. small decorative stamps (small sets $1 at A.C. Moore's, or you could draw)
5. paper craft tape for flags (3 rolls for $2.50 at A.C. Moore's, or you could even just cut your own out of paper you have at home)
6. small clear acrylic block ($1 at A.C. Moore's, but I have heard of a lot of people using a CD case as an acrylic block, which you probably have in your house)
7. any set of markers (you most likely have some in your house- if not- Crayola $2.49 at Target)
8. a book (mine was $5 at Target, but any unused notebook laying around your house would work)
9. any set of crayons or colored pencils for adding color (you most likely have some in your house- if not- Crayola Crayons $1.37 at Target)
10. your creativity (free!)

List My Life #2

My lazy Sunday plans:

1. Watch the movie Jumper.
2. Catch up on The Originals.
3. Read more of Midnight for Charlie Bone or Anne of Windy Poplars.
4. Blog
5. Re-watch more of season 1 in Once Upon a Time with my daughters.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

List My Life #1

Reasons I love The Hobbit movie trilogy:

1. I love dwarves, and there was plenty!
2. I loved Bard and his gloomy Lake-Town.
3. I loved the villainous Smaug.
4. LOVE the line: I am fire; I am death.
5. I love sad, creepy Gollum.

List My Life: New Project

I have revealed on here before that I am a tad obsessed with watching crafting and art videos on YouTube. I have been wanting to do something scrapbooking-ish (though on an extremely small scale...I hate messy crafts) and wanting to find something to replace my five year journal. I don't like traditional journaling, something about writing my most inner deepest thoughts and feelings down somewhat freaks me out, the permanency of that for anyone to read makes me extremely uncomfortable. Why I tried the five year journal, having to only write down one memory a day. The downfall in that was that my mind doesn't really work like that...fixating on only one thing and trying to squeeze it into the tiny space provided. I ended up finding myself dreading the moment I had to choose, as if I was just picking something, anything to jot down. I came across the idea of "lists"- apparently there is an online community of crafty women who journal through lists on a daily basis (though I think they view it more as art journaling). There are monthly challenges, which give a question for each day, and you basically journal the list that answers the questions in any sort of way you choose. All the ones I've seen sort of do it up in a pretty little book, reminiscent of scrapbooking or multi-media artwork.
I will admit, I've been fascinated. I thought it would be really fun to give it a go, so today I went out and got a few things to get me started. I got a small pink book that is 6 1/2"x 3".I thought it was the perfect size, plus, it's pink and only cost me $5.  I also picked up a package of different colored Bic marker pens to write my lists. I could not believe I found a ton of alphabet stamp sets that were so itty bitty, for only $1 each. They had so many different font styles available, but I just picked two different sets. The only other things I wanted was paper craft tape and little colorful paper flags. I did not find any flags, but I lucked out in finding a bunch of paper tape. Everything I found was a tad too expensive for what I wanted to spend, but at the last minute I discovered these boxes. Each box has 3 different rolls, and they were on sale 2 for $5. I spent more than I wanted to on the tape, but only because I knew I wouldn't find such a good deal later, so I stocked up, giving me quite a large variety to choose from now. I also pulled out all my stamps that I already own and put all the tiny ones that would be fun to use in this project together for easy access. I also own a set of cheap markers that I will use on the stamps (my actual black ink pad is a bit too dark and shows through the papers). I also remembered that I have a bunch of Mary Engelbreit post it tags that are quite pretty.
I will also be sharing my lists on my blog. I would love to have any of my readers join in the fun, even if you simply blog your lists. I will be creating my questions to be quite person for myself, so they may not all apply to you, however, if that is the case it should be pretty easy to adapt it to fit you. For example, if I want to list why I liked a specific movie that you haven't seen, simply replace it with a movie you have seen. If I make a list of toys my daughters are into right now, you could make a list of makeup products you are into, or whatever suites who you are! All my lists will be easily found under the tag list my life, or in the archives. I am not sure yet if I will be sharing photos of what I do in my book or if I will just type up my list in a post to share. Either way, I think it will be nothing but fun!

*That is a photo of my first list in my book, though it is not that great! I have never really used paper tape before, so I was kind of experimenting. Hopefully (fingers crossed) my pages will get prettier!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

homemade bookmarks

I decided to pull out my laminator last night and do some crafty fun with my daughters. We were in much need of some nice bookmarks, and since we do not have a nice big bookstore in our area, not only does that mean we can't always get the books we are looking for, but it also means we don't have a good selection of pretty bookmarks. I found a stack of notecards, you know, those packs that are blank (or lined) that you can purchase for super cheap. We then decorated them however we wanted, using stickers and old magazines, to create bookmark masterpieces! Then I laminated so that they would last longer. My girls went a bit crazy and made a TON. My youngest mainly used Spiderman stickers and cut outs of pigs. My oldest used all kinds of stuff, from food to ancient Egyptians. We had a lot of fun! Here are the three bookmarks that I created, the front and back of each:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2 new Anne books...

Anne's House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables, #5)Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #6)
My daughters had dental appointments today, and since we found ourselves just down the road from the bookstore, I decided to stop in to see if I could pick up books #5,6,and 7 in the Anne of Green Gables series. I am enjoying Anne of Windy Poplars so much, I know I will want to continue on once I finish it. I did find Anne's House of Dreams and Anne of Ingleside, but no luck on Rainbow Valley. I paid approximately a total of $5 for the two books. Also, I also decided that I think I would very much enjoy reading the Star Wars series Legacy of the Force. I was tempted to purchase the first two in the series, but I put them back. Maybe in the future, but for now I will try and finish up these Anne books...

Monday, April 13, 2015

a magical pocket..and a journey ahead

My daughter's and I were pouring over books that we own today, talking of our favorites and most prettiest books. Then I had the most brilliant idea of have some book fun with them. We dug out a packaging from a Barbie doll kitchen set that measured 15 inches long, 12.5 inches high, and was 3.25 inches thick. I told my daughters, what if something happened and we all had to go on a journey, leaving all our belongings behind. We could each carry only one bag, which was filled with our necessities, leaving only one pocket for our books, which was the exact size of the Barbie box. What books would you take? We also made the stipulation that we have a magical object that makes the weight of our bag always remain super light. So, what books?
These are the books my youngest would pack inside the pocket of her bag. Mostly consisting of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Choose Your Own Adventure books, and other random animal books. She loves cats, dogs, and anything cute and fluffy. Sadly afterwards, she realized she forgot to stick the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid in there, but the journey has already begun! She wasn't too disappointed about it though, she has plenty to occupy herself on our made up journey.
These are my oldest daughter's choices. She kind of dips her toes into just about everything, and seems to adore just about every book she reads. She is also a fellow classic lover, so she has a few in there, her most favorite being The Wizard of Oz. She had quite a hard time skimming down all her choices to fit into the pocket. I think she would have rather had her necessities in the smaller pocket and her books in the rest!
These are the books I chose, which I am not entirely sure I would really pick. I don't think my mind was in a great spot to be choosing for something so official. Plus, my large Garden Primer book takes up o much space. I also announced that if we were planning a journey, I would be sure to first get a copy of the right translation that I like for The Theban Plays.
So, if you had those dimensions of a magical pocket, what books would you stuff inside for the journey of your life?