Monday, April 14, 2014

Single Girl's Weekend.

Last Friday, Donny flew off to Texas to spend a weekend with the Texas Rangers while I stayed here in NC.  I had big plans for lots of alone time to read, watch the Yankees/Red Sox series, clean, and have a girls' night with our Bible Fellowship ladies.  I know it sounds kind of lame, but it was great!  For an introvert like me, having a weekend to myself really recharged my batteries.  I feel great today, and I'm SO very ready to see Donny tonight!  I missed him so much.  

On Friday, I walked into my office to find these beautiful flowers from Donny!  He's so very thoughtful and knew that I would miss him so had these delivered to work.  They arrived as buds...
... but by Sunday, they looked like this! GORGEOUS!
Friday, I spent the evening cleaning, giving myself a pedicure and DIY facial mask, watching the Yankees beat the Red Sox, and reading The Hundred-Foot Journey.  I really wanted to finish the book on Friday, but I just couldn't stay awake any longer to read it.  
I also stayed up to watch the end of the Rangers game, which went into 12 innings.  It was such déjà vu from the days when Donny lived in Texas and went to Rangers games and I'd stay up until they were over waiting for him to call me.  Boy am I glad those days are long gone...  

Saturday, I had lunch plans with my friend Katie that turned into breakfast plans at Cracker Barrel!  What a delicious morning...
And then after breakfast, her car won't start.  Fortunately, we are two capable women, so we have two sets of jumper cables.  However, he car is parked between other cars, and our jumper cables are not 30 feet long.  So, we have to push her car out into the middle of the parking lot to get mine close enough to jump it. Thankfully, another woman came out to help us, and we were able to get her going without much further fuss.  Then we went to see Divergent, which was SO good!
I spent the rest of the afternoon getting the house ready for ladies' night for our Bible Fellowship class and making buffalo chicken dip.  Yum.  We had a pretty small crowd, but it was really great to spend time getting to know some of the women in our class that I don't know very well.

Sunday was both a relaxing and productive day.  I did loads and loads of laundry, finished all the cleaning that I had planned for the weekend, and just chilled.
I started Beautiful Ruins, reading more than half of it yesterday.  But I'm really just ready for this book to end-- I don't love it at all.  Maybe the ending will be great, and I'll love it, so I'll reserve judgment until it's over.
I finished the weekend watching the Yankees win their third out of four games against the Red Sox.  It was a pretty exciting game-- home runs hit, great catches made, sadly players getting hurt, and then John Farrell (the Red Sox manager) getting thrown out of the game.  Fun times!
All in all, a pretty great weekend.  But after all my alone time, I'm so ready to see my husband!!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend too!
Mingle 240

Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Club Friday-- The Silent Wife.

GoodReads Synopsis: Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept.

My Thoughts:  This book has been compared to Gone Girl, and it is similar in the fact that it's about how far a woman can be pushed by an adulterous husband before she reaches her breaking point and then ultimately the drastic measures that she takes.  But it was also very, very different.  I have a hard time writing this review because I want to describe how intricately woven the story is and how intense it is, but I can't go into much detail without ruining the story.  It's SO good-- possibly even better than Gone Girl.  From the very first page, you're told that her marriage has deteriorated so far that it has made her a killer, something she never thought she'd be.  The rest of the story is spent describing the events that led up to the murder and the aftermath.  It's a slow burning story building up to the twist at the end.

It may not be the book for everyone, but I absolutely loved it and definitely recommend it if you like suspenseful books or psychological thrillers.  And I'm incredibly sad that this is the one and only novel from A.S.A. Harrison before her death in 2013.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Book Club Friday-- Stella Bain.

GoodReads Synopsis:  When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in.
A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse's aide near the front, but she can't remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield.

My Thoughts:  I've only read one other Anita Shreve book, The Pilot's Wife, and LOVED it.  So, I was really excited to read this one, her newest release.  But I didn't feel it was as good.  Maybe the whole memory loss just wasn't my cup of tea.  It was interesting to see how "shell shock" was treated in the early 1900s, especially the differences in treatment of men and women.  But I just felt sad for her the entire book, even after the mystery of her past was solved and she started to deal with the repercussions of her earlier decisions.

I think it's worth reading if you already like Anita Shreve books, are interested in WWI stories, or are just looking for something a little unusual.  But it's not a lighthearted read by any stretch of the imagination, nor was it truly amazing like The Pilot's Wife.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

15 Things I Hate More than April Fools Day.

Thank you Sarah for today's blog post inspiration!  I too hate hate hate April Fool's Day.  Fortunately no one in my current circle of folks is big on the day either, but there were times in my life that it was a big deal.  But I hate pranks and being pranked and basically being made to look like a fool.  Making me think you're pregnant or have cancer or are quitting your job-- Haha ha ha.  NO.  Let's use our brains and actually be clever to be funny.

But there are a few other things that get under my skin as much or more than April Fool's Day:

1.  Washing dishes.

2.  Also, having a sink full of dirty dishes.  It's quite the conundrum...

3.  Getting stuck in traffic.
4.  Bugs.

5.  The DirecTV iPhone app.  And the fact that it doesn't always tell my DVR to record what I want it to.

6.  The hump day camel commercials.  No no no no no.
7.  The Boston Red Sox and Duke Blue Devils.  (Sorry, Jodi!  :))
All of America knows that Dook sucks.
8.  Having to actually walk into an establishment to pick up my takeout.  Get a drive-thru, people.

9.  Buying books at full-price.  Between amazon, used book stores, and the library, why would I ever do this??
Free books!
10.  Country music.  I'm sorry, but most of it sounds like cats fighting.

11.  Blogs that are full of sponsored posts and self-promotion with no content.

12.  Reality television.  Except Chrisley Knows Best-- that s#!t is funny.
13.  Telephone solicitors who want to chit chat.  Yes it's nice weather.  No, I'm not giving you money.

14.  Vampires.  Books about vampires, tv shows about vampires, movies about vampires...

15.  The HIMYM finale.  Okay, maybe I don't hate it as much as April Fool's Day.  But I couldn't very well post today without addressing it.  And if you haven't watched it yet, don't read any further.  I had an inkling that the Mother would be dead-- it makes sense that that is why Ted is telling his kids this forever-long story.  But to break up Barney and Robin after all that build up and then have Ted and Robin get back together after all that time??  So lame.  I never liked Ted and Robin together, and I was so annoyed that that is how they ended it.  Although now that I've had some time to reflect, I can kind of see it.  He got to have the family and kids that he wanted; she got to travel the world like she wanted.  Now they can be together.  But I hate that they had to go through a wedding and divorce with Barney to get there.  But my absolute favorite moment of the finale was when Barney met his daughter.  So many tears.  Big, fat crocodile tears.
Thoughts on the HIMYM finale?  Do you hate or love April Fool's Day?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Katie Lately.

* This weekend was a great one! We spent Friday night with some friends and ended up being out much longer than we anticipated, but it's hard to go home when you're having such a great time! Saturday was a totally lazy day for me. It was rainy and yucky, so I read and finished Me Before You, which wasn't my favorite book. We spent Saturday night in true married people fashion-- playing card games at home. It was great.  :)
* Sunday, we went to the NASCAR race in Martinsville with my parents. Holy wow-- it was SO cold and SO windy (it snowed and sleeted on our drive there). Thank goodness that my mother brought some extra blankets for us to use. The race was a great one, but I was so glad to get back in the warmth of our car!
* Tonight is the series finale of How I Met Your Mother.  On one hand, I'm so sad.  I've loved this show for years and am sad that it'll be over.  On the other hand, it's had a long run, and the magic is gone a little bit.  It's time for Ted and the Mother (do we know her name??) to ride off into the sunset.
*  I've been reading in spurts this year.  Some weeks, I'm not reading at all.  Then other weeks, like this past week, I'll read 4 books.  I love weeks like that where I get in a good rhythm with some really great books.  One of my favorites from last week is Sarah Addison Allen's Lost Lake.  This book was fantastic.  A full review will be coming soon!
* One other thing I can't believe I haven't blogged about yet are these delicious treats I made for our Bible Fellowship game night the other weekend.  They were all huge hits, so hopefully I'll get these recipes up this week!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Club Friday-- I've Got Your Number.

GoodReads Synopsis:  Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life. What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

My Thoughts:  I loved this book.  It's got the usual ridiculousness and misunderstandings associated with any Sophie Kinsella story, but it was super cute.  I really liked the main character, Poppy.  She was incredibly sweet and caring, albeit a little ditzy.  She's much more likeable than Becky Bloomwood (of the Shopaholic series).  It was a light, funny read that I definitely recommend!