This and That..

 kinda really neglected my little space here on the web last year. I didn’t realize just how long it had been since my last post until a few days ago…. so let’s catch up shall we??? 

I didn’t do a whole lot  I mostly read and watched tv. For the last few years I’ve challenged myself to read a certain number of books and I last year was terrible!! I set a low ball goal and I didn’t even meet that hmph! I don’t know why it’s not like I was doing anything, but ehh. I am trying to recall if anything made a lasting impression, but I am drawing a blank right now. What I do know is I am so tired of publishers posting the blurb If you loved Gone Girl…. listen Gone Girl was AWESOME except for that ending, but I won’t even get into THAT!!! 

In early Feb I had my Mirena removed, because it was the only thing I could think of that was causing me to be super emo. I discussed it here a few years ago. I was crying every day…several times a day over the smallest things. I cried when I was happy, sad, indifferent, confused you name it I was crying about it. I started seeing a therapist she suggested I give myself permission to be sensitive and not be embarrassed about my tears, but I was feeling like I was May in The Secret Life of Bees. I won’t go into all of the gory details but finally after 4 years it was removed and the tears dried up in a few days. So you know how they say it might take you awhile to get pregnant after it is removed???? Ummm yeah my eggs didn’t get the memo…we found out we were expecting our third baby around mid-March and I gave birth to our baby girl in November. I NEVER in a million years thought I would have 3 children (get ready for this cliche), but I cannot imagine life without her. She is so sweet and such a happy baby.

Over the summer I binged on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. I read the book (of course) so I was curious about the series although the writers took a lot of creative license I really enjoyed watching and I cannot wait for season 2. While I am talking about Netflix let’s talk about the greatness that is House of Cards!!! Kevin Spacey is every single thing!!!! I absolutely love the ruthlessness that is Francis J. Underwood!! I started season 1 about 3 weeks ago and I finished season 2 shortly thereafter. I was sitting up in bed on my laptop until 3 a.m. quite a few times because I was so invested. I just had to know what was going to happen next and I was not disappointed. I wish I didn’t have to wait until next year to find out what is going to happen next. At least the new season of Game of Thrones (DIE JOFFREY DIE!) is starting soon to keep my mind occupied. I can’t forget about Ray Donovan… I started watching late in the season but I caught up quickly and will be waiting on that to come back some time this summer as well. Ray Donovan is like Scandal on steroids! LOVED IT!!! So maybe all of this tv is why I didn’t meet my reading goals… don’t judge me! 

 The rest of the summer was spent trying to stay cool especially while waddling around hot a** El Paso and getting my kids ready for school. My daughter started third grade and my son started pre-k at the end of July. Once school was in session it seems like time just flew by before I knew it the baby was here and we were packing up and getting ready to move back to Georgia.

I think that about sums up 2013 and 2014 so far… riveting stuff 

In case anyone is interested in some of the books I read last year…

Crazy Rich Asians  by Kevin Kwan — very interesting read… it was like an Asian soap opera

The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison — one of those books that I mentioned was compared to Gone Girl.. umm no. The author passed away last year unfortunately. I think this was her first novel and if I am not mistaken I read she’d been working on it for YEARS

Night Film by Marisha Pessl — I really wanted more from this book I ‘d heard such good things. It was just ok.

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger — OMG and I don’t mean that in a nice way either. I didn’t read Devil but I saw the movie and from what I have been told Miranda was worse in the book than the movie and maybe that’s why it was so off for me, but good grief Andi was SO unlikable… maybe it was because I kept picturing Anne Hathaway (I have a love/hate relationship with her) or perhaps it was because she kept obsessing over a character that I think we “saw” 3 maybe 4 times. I should add I have enjoyed everything else that I’ve read by Lauren so I don’t know why this one left me feeling so…

Scarlet (Book 2 The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer — YA novel think Red Riding Hood in the year 3000 something. Futuristic and rather awesome. Book 3, Cress, was just released this year and I am #7 in line for it at my library. Can’t wait!

Dead Ever After (final book in the Southern Vampire Series aka Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris — HATED IT!!!!!! The only reason I finished the series is because I’d invested so much I felt like I deserved to know how it would end. I kinda feel like Mrs. Harris got tired around book 7. Oh yeah and since I am a glutton for punishment I read the follow up aka where are they now type book that she released later on in the year called After Dead where she wrote little blurbs about every character in the series. Like seriously some characters got one sentence it was like Jane Doe after being mauled by wolves she died. UGH!!! I think Eric was able to get 2 paragraphs, Bill got around the same and Sookie got two pages.

Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany — Listen I cannot begin to explain the greatness that is Amy Hatvany. After I read her novel Best Kept Secret she had a fan. Amy tackles issues in a very realistic way. I love how she doesn’t feel the need to tie her books up in a neat little bow. She gets that life is messy and often goes totally left. I have 2 more books of hers I want to read. I hope to pick them up soon. 

I should probably stop naming books at this point or I will mess around and review everything I read last year. 

I was just about to hit publish when I received an email from Yahoo about one of my email accounts… this is the second email I’ve gotten from them in a week… my passwords are super random.. I follow the rules upper and lower case letters special characters the freaking works and they are still telling me I need to change my password… I am so over them. I have been slowly transitioning all of my emails to gmail and I think the rest of them are going to end up in that inbox as well. ARGH!!!!

 

    

 

 

 

 

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A Little Bit of Everything

“The day I became yours, you became mine.” That Carters commercial makes me tear up every single time.

Can I just say Shonda Rhimes had all of the Scandal fans in a tizzy last night. She is some kind of evil genius.

We are moving next weekend and I have only packed 5 boxes. Too bad this isn’t a PCS move so that we could just supervise the packing instead of doing it ourselves.

I miss the East Coast. El Paso is ok, but ummm yeah this is not the place for me or my family. The city is not diverse at all. I was able to visit Dallas over the summer…. I really enjoyed my time in the city. If we lived there I’m sure I wouldn’t be so ready to vacate Texas.

One of my best girlfriends is having a baby. She’s due in February. I hate that I live so far away, but I am hoping to get home to see her and the baby by early spring.

I just read a hilarious memoir. I was laughing out loud in bed and my husband kept giving me the stink eye. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson do yourself a favor and read it ASAP…. well that is if you aren’t easily offended because if you are just forget I mentioned it. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was also a great read but the ending SUCKED!!! I mean at the end I was like are you FREAKING KIDDING?!  The rest of the book was so good I can forgive her for the ending.

My brother might be moving to Germany for a few years. Definitely gotta visit!

Just got 2 follow requests from natural hair bloggers on Twitter. I hope they aren’t trying to recruit me!!!! The ONLY way I’d be natural is if I could rock my hair like CrystalBoo(she is basically rocking an Amber Rose) . I think I have a face for short hair but I don’t have the head to wear my hair like her so no haps! Oh yeah and with my pointy ears that wouldn’t be the move.

I finally got my phone that I whined about in my last post…. it is AWESOME! AT&T finally released the new Android OS this week so it is running Jellybean and I must say it made me love my G S III that much more.

I want some really good Chinese food. I have not been able to find a place here that can top the chicken egg rolls at Red Bowl Asian Bistro in Columbia, SC… those things were delicious!

 

 

 

The Choir Director: A Review

Carl Weber is back and so are the members of First Jamaica Ministries…..

via Kensingtonbooks.com

New York Times bestselling author Carl Weber takes readers back to church, where preaching isn’t always enough, nothing goes better with the Word than a song—and it’s time for some hard-earned lessons in love, brotherhood, and betrayal.Bishop T.K. Wilson has done all he can to make First Jamaica Ministries a success. But with his last choir director getting caught in a scandal, attendance and cash flow are down. To fill the pews and collection plates, Bishop is counting on a new choir director, the charismatic Aaron Mackie, to revive the church.

Aaron Mackie had been waiting his entire life for the opportunity to prove that he has what it takes to be a big-time choir director like Kirk Franklin. But while Aaron is more than up to the challenge, his ways around women, both past and present, could cost him more than his job.

Simone Wilcox is just one of the women who’s caught Aaron’s attention. She’s smart, beautiful and sexy, along with being a highly respected church trustee. She’s got her eye on the new choir director with the intention of having a lot more on him and she doesn’t plan on letting anyone get in her way.

First Lady Monique Wilson is far from being the typical first lady. She does and says what she wants, and doesn’t subscribe to church politics. Despite her shortcomings and a past rumored to include a long list of men, she’s willing to do just about anything to protect the Bishop.

The members of First Jamaica Ministries are also keeping the Bishop busy with choir in-fighting, romantic jealousies, and personal vendettas. You’d think the Bishop was being tested enough, but a final piece of the puzzle has yet to be revealed: Someone has been robbing the church blind. Someone whose connection to the Bishop is far too close for comfort. . .

I just finished Carl Weber’s The Choir Director and I keep asking myself how much drama is too much??? I am a Weber fan and I have been for several years. He never fails to deliver a tale that is intriguing and entertaining. His latest novel, The Choir Director, while not short on action, left me feeling a little conflicted when I finished. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something felt off this time around. For the most part I enjoyed The Choir Director, it was a quick and easy read, but at times it was very predictable. The newest member of First Jamaica Ministries, Aaron Mackie, was an interesting addition to his usual cast of characters in the church series and I must admit I would like to see more of him and also to find out how his new relationship blossoms with a certain someone.

I figured out early on who the “villain” was in the story, although the reason behind his great deception seemed a tad improbable in my opinion, likewise about the choir director’s so-called secret. There were a few too many secrets in this story when I think about it.  I was a bit bothered at how far removed the Bishop was from all that was going on in his church and right under his nose I might add. Although the Bishop is a major character he seemed to only have a small role in this novel while everyone else were center stage even though the controversy was largely about him.

Overall I enjoyed The Choir Director and I look forward to catching up with the members of First Jamaica Ministries again soon.

Sweet Little Lies: A review

Based on a review by my Twitter friend and trusted book critic Lisa from www.reads4pleasure.com I added Sweet Little Lies to my to-be-read shelf on Shelfari. Friday as luck would have it, I had a few minutes to spend strolling through the stacks at the library and what did I see, but one of the very books I’d been meaning to read.

Description via amazon.com

Christina Brinsley is that girl.You know the one: a little bougie, a little opinionated, knows it all, has it all, and is a total perfectionist. But Christina’s perfectly crafted world isn’t really so perfect. Her third engagement fizzled three days before the wedding, her family expects her to solve their problems, and her friends are more than a little bit out of control. To keep it all together, she dedicates herself to her work, because it’s the one thing that won’t let her down. But when her latest assignment leads her to sizzling hot professor Steven Williams, the one man who sees through her efforts to outsmart and outmaneuver her way through every situation, Christina can’t believe she’s falling for a man who may be a key player in the scandal she’s investigating….

Wanting to take a break from the heavy (domestic violence, dysfunctional family) books I’ve been reading lately, this evening I plucked Sweet Little Lies out of the stack of books I borrowed. I started reading around 7pm and I did not put it down until I was done a few minutes ago at 3 am. Honestly, I do not even know where to begin other than to say I really loved this story!

Michele Grant is a genius!!! She made me care about her characters, and for me that’s no easy feat. I can say without a doubt I am totally and completely in love with Steven! He is pretty darn close to perfect.  Christina I wanted to totally strangle a few times, but I even love her. Their dialogue was so fresh. I loved how they could have intelligent conversations and every once in a while slip into silly and sometimes slang laced chats.

This story was so balanced there was just enough romance, humor,  and intrigue to keep me interested. Several times I told myself to put the book down and I could finish in the morning, but I found that I could not go to sleep until I knew how the story ended. I seriously have not been this excited about a romance novel in a LONG time!

This was definitely time well spent!

Hello my name is……. and I am a bookworm

I love to read. No other hobby I’ve attempted has ever come close to the pleasure I feel when picking up a good book. Books transport me to a different time and place. The world seems to disappear when I am engrossed in a novel; in fact I seem to recall a rather embarrassing episode in 6th grade math class that involved me reading a Nancy Drew novel instead of paying attention. Since then my passion for reading has continued to grow.

My reading taste varies from chick-lit to suspense and lately I’ve thrown a few memoirs into the mix thanks to Jen Lancaster and Chelsea Handler. Nothing makes me happier than to discover an author I’ve never tried before, that I actually enjoy, because then I make it a point to devour all of their work. The most interesting thing (I think) about me when I read is that I am transported into the story… I feel as if I am in a corner watching everything unfold without being a part of the story. If the plot and the characters are particularly fascinating I find myself becoming emotionally involved in their lives, I know it sounds crazy BUT for me the more involved I am the better I like the book.

Participating in my friend’s 40 book challenge (Thanks Fran!) this year really allowed me to branch out and try new authors and genres. The number of books is small in my opinion but initially it was kind of daunting because I was in grad school until May. Normally I fly through a novel in no time but trying to finish up 2 major projects before graduation slowed my reading down tremendously. Now that I’m free I’ve been checking out books left and right. My to be read shelf on Shelfari.com is filled with all sorts of mini-vacations for myoften restless mind.

My new favorite author

I bought Jen Lancaster’s Bitter is the New Black a while back during a small book buying frenzy in Target….I am not really responsible for my actions when I enter the Red Dot Boutique….the bright lights and pretty colors make me a little crazy…but I digress…. I started reading Bitter and initially I wasn’t into it so I put it down and ended up reading a couple of my other books also purchased during the frenzy.

As I mentioned before my line sister asked me and a few other Sorors to participate in her 40 book challenge and one day while discussing the books on our list of 40 Bitter came up.  I told the girls I had the book and had even started reading it, but hadn’t gotten very far. Lucky for me one of the girls had read the book and loved it. She told me I simply HAD to finish it because Jen was so funny and she knew I’d love it. I’m not one to give up on a book so easily so I said what the hell….

I started reading again and she was right I LOVED it. Jen’s sarcasm combined with her quick wit made for an easy read. I think I loved it so much because I could relate to her struggles when she was laid off since I was only recently back at work after over a year of unemployment.  I mean this book (to me) was seriously laugh out loud funny. I kept asking myself how in the hell did I not pick up on this the first time around??? At any rate as soon as I finished Bitter I had to read the second memoir Bright Lights, Big Ass. Once again Jen did not disappoint…coincidentally I was reading Bright Lights as I traveled to her city (Chicago) for my graduation. I was literally laughing out loud on the plane….good thing my seat mates were my sister and my husband otherwise someone would have been pissed.

About a week ago I went to the library and borrowed the next installment in her set of memoirs Such a Pretty Fat. True to fashion Jen made me laugh right along with her…

There are two books left Pretty in Plaid and the newly released My Fair Lazy which is good and bad. Its good news because it means I have two more books to read which will allow me to hang out with my friend in my head a.k.a Jen but it also means once I’m done I’ll have nothing else of hers to read until she releases another book….there is always her blog and Twitter but so far she hasn’t updated Twitter much since she’s on her book tour. So it seems I have myself a small dilemma… do I devour the next two books on the list or do I read one and space them out???

Darn you Jen Lancaster for being so funny and appealing to my random and often quirky sense of humor!

Books, Books and more Books

So my friends and I have decided to read 40 books by the end of the year. I think this will be a piece of cake for me because I think I read around that many if not more last year. There isn’t much that I truly enjoy more than a good book. I have a pretty good list going and I am excited to continue to add more.  Presently I am reading The Wrong Mother.  I’ve been sort of distracted so I haven’t gotten in to it yet, but I plan to read more later… I’ve got to do a little school work first. Once I finish this one I plan to start on The Help and after that Firefly Lane. I read Lovely Bones and Love You to Death over the weekend so I think I am off to a good start.

I’m keeping up with most of my to-read list on shelfari.com (which I love by the way) and I also have a few saved in my Blackberry (which I will share) and some on my Amazon wish-list.

To read list:

What She Wants – Cathy Kelly
Real life & liars – Kristina Riggle
Gone to the dogs- Mary Guterson
I’m so happy for you – Lucinda Rosenfeld
Easy on the eyes Jane Porter
Serena– Ron Rash
A field guide to burying your parents-Liz Palmer
Golden Grove- Francine Prose
Loose Girl a memoir of Promiscuity -kerry Cohen
Sleepwalking in Daylight -elizabeth flock
Millie’s Fling- Jill Mansell
Eve- Elissa Elliott
Leaving Carolina-Tamara Leigh
By the time you read this–Lois James
Miranda’s big Mistake – Jill Mansell
Snapped–Tracy Brown
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt -Beth Hoffman
Nightlight- The Harvard Lampoon

I am such a nerd getting all excited about reading, but what can I say?!