Sunday, December 30, 2012

Books: November & December Edition

Wow, the last month has been insane. I never got my November books post up, so I am just combining November & December into one post, and I'm gonna try and keep it short, so I am not including book summaries. Sorry, y'all. Anyhow, here it goes:

First I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This book covers a tough topic (suicide) pretty well, but I had some trouble connecting with the characters. It was a good read, though, and an interesting exploit into high school difficulties. Four out of Five stars.

Then I read Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris. Honestly, I have avoided these books for many years, and I don't really have a good reason why. But finally, I said what the heck, picked it up, and read it. And actually loved it. Sookie is hilarious and the characters are all unique and wonderful. This was a fun and easy read, a bit of mystery and the supernatural with a touch of romance. Four out of Five stars.

After that, I read Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange. I love Jane Austen spin-offs, so I was excited for this one. Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen, so reading this in Wentworth's point of view was a nice change of pace. This was a sweet, romantic book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Four out of Five stars.

Then I had to read Persuasion by Jane Austen again, since it had been a while. Still my favorite of hers! I just really love this book and all the ways it makes me reconsider life and love. Five out of Five stars.

Then Reached by Ally Condie was released and I pretty much dropped everything and devoured this book. I now want to reread the whole series. I just have a serious love for these books. I could not put Reached down, and absolutely loved the ending to this series. Five out of Five stars.

I went back on my Jane Austen kick and read The Man Who Loved Jane Austen by Sally Smith O'Rourke. This was a cute, slightly cheesy little spin-off of Pride and Prejudice, and honestly surprised me. It was sweet, an easy read to make you smile. I gave this one Four out of Five stars.

Lastly, I read A Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice #1) by George R.R. Martin. I have heard many good things about these books and since I love fantasy, I picked this up at the library. Just a note: This book is huge! They all are. But I loved this book and plowed my way through it. I love all of the characters, the many story lines, the interwoven plot, the history, everything! Even though some bits were predictable, I loved the book anyways. I give it Five out of Five stars.

I have been so busy with my new job, that I haven't had much time to read since starting it. I had planned to read my winter break away, but so far I have only made small headway in A Clash of Kings (A Song of Fire and Ice #2). It is worth it, however, as I am still loving my new job and what I have been doing. 

At the beginning of the year, I gave myself a goal to read 45 books this year. I read 50! Maybe for this next year I will make my goal 60? I just love reading so much. Enjoy some of these awesome books over the winter break, curl up next to your fire with a cup of coffee/cocoa and escape into another world. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Lot of Things

Holy cow, I'm alive! I cannot adequately describe how busy these last three weeks have been. I seriously am exhausted just thinking about it. Here is an update on what has been happening in my life:

-Lived through finals! Yeah, I'm shocked, too (I always am, mainly because finals make me want to die). But I managed to get everything done and now I get a nice little break before classes start in January.

- Another shocking development in my crazy life: I got a new job! I know! It's crazy. I worked at the bank for two years, so having all these changes is throwing me for a loop. But  I have been at my new job for almost a week, and so far I am loving it.

- Lots of fun Christmas prepping with the family. We had a girls baking party, I went shopping with Brad, and even hung up mine and his stockings in our little basement. Aw! I love Christmas time! Also, listening to LOTS of Christmas music (love you, Pandora!).

-Found out Josh Groban is coming out with a new album to be released in February! So excited!

-Just watched the season finale of The Voice, and my girl Cassadee Pope won! I knew she would be the winner, from the moment she did her blind audition. I am definitely a huge fan of this girl! (She always has the best outfits and hair! She is just all around amazing.)

I am a bit behind on my book post for November, so hopefully I can get that up soon. Otherwise, I am ready for the Christmas and New Years holidays, lots of family, fun, good food, and best of all, relaxing!

As Always,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday is the New Friday

I just love Thursdays. Thursday means my last day of school for the week, Friday is almost here, and it's Vampire Diaries night! How great is that? And so far, today is off to a good start. Two of my classes are cancelled, which is giving me extra (much needed) hours to work on homework (and blog, but a ten minute break is nice). I have my Peppermint Mocha coffee (yum!) and a delicious clementine orage to snack on. I am a very content girl right now. No stressing allowed, I am determined to just work hard and be happy.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Little Late...

But I still wanted to do a "I'm Thankful For..." post. Thanksgiving was a great holiday, and I got to celebrate it all weekend. On Wednesday, my sister-in-law had her baby. I am so excited to have a niece! Her name is Adisyn and she is legit adorable. I mean, look at those chubby cheeks! She made the holiday even more wonderful.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for:

-My sweet husband, who always makes me laugh and challenges me to be a better person every day. He is my inspiration.

-My family. I am surrounded by amazing people in my life. I don't know where I would be without my loved ones. Especially my mom, who is always there for me. She's the best.

-My puppy, Molly. She's the sweetest and always lets me squish her when I need some cuddling. She puts up with me and doesn't seem to mind.

-Each new day I have to work harder and get better at this thing called life.

-Coffee. I love me some coffee, especially with all the great holiday flavored creamers.

-Warm sweat pants, pumpkin pie, and a good book. Best ever.

-My life. This really goes without saying, but I am so blessed to have the life I do. It really is amazing.

-Plants vs. Zombies. Cause I'm addicted and it makes the work hours fly by. :)

I am grateful for so many things that aren't listed. Some of these things may seem small or shallow, but one thing I feel is that sometimes, it's the small things that make me smile and can turn around a bad day. I had a great Thanksgiving, and I hope you all did, too!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What I've Been Up To

Lately I have been....

Reading Reached by Ally Condie and A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I'm still not really sure how to talk about Reached, but I know it made me happy and I loved it. And so far, I'm really enjoying A Game of Thrones.

Drinking... Lots of hot cocoa and coffee. Mmmm!

Listening to Taylor Swift's new album Red, and my favorite contestant from The Voice, Cassadee Pope.  Dang, that girl can sing.

Crafting another scarf for the cold winder that I know is coming.

Watching Gilmore Girls, starting with season one. Gosh, I just love this show.

And now, I probably have to be a hermit for three weeks while I get tons of school work done before the semester ends. Oh, joy!

As always,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

 Wow, say that five times fast! Kind of a tongue twister. Ha ha. So last week Brad saw some cookies on the internet that had Reese's mini's in them and he asked me to make them. I didn't save the recipe, so I decided to just make chocolate chip cookie batter and put the Reese's mini's in instead of the chocolate chips. They turned out really good and are already almost gone (I made them yesterday)! Definitely a delicious twist on your normal cookie. I would very much recommend them, if you like Reese's.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

First Crochet Project

So, a couple of months ago (geez, it's been a while) I decided I needed to crochet myself a scarf. Which also meant I needed to learn how to crochet, ha ha. So I found this awesome infinity scarf pattern and fell in love. I just had to make it! So I gathered my supplies and with a little help from my mother-in-law, I made this. It hasn't been cold enough to wear it yet, but I can't wait until I finally get the chance!
I love this scarf because I can wear it just like this, or loop it again for that chunky (and warmer) look. It is super cute and versatile. 

 This is also one of my favorite shades of green. I love the mossy forest green color and the yarn is super warm and soft.
I couldn't help showing it off to my family and my mom loved it, too. So I made her a similar one in a deep, ruby red. We can be twinners when it gets cold! 

So even though I hate being cold, bring on the winter weather, I am ready! 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Books: October Edition

Hey y'all! It's officially November and I am loving it. October was wonderful! Here in Utah, the weather has been a delicious mixture of warm yet cool, that great fall crisp-ness. There was a skiff of snow, but mostly I have been able to fully enjoy the gorgeous fall colors and really nice weather. I got stuck on a book early in the month, so I didn't get too many reading done, but now that I gave up on that one, I have been going strong. Ha ha. So here are my book reviews for October.

The book I got stuck on was The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter. Here's a short summary (thanks to

His powers--inhuman. His passion--beyond immortal.

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member--a man trapped in a hell of his own.
Neither can resist the instant hunger that calms their torments...and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction--and a soul-shattering test of love....
Sounds pretty interesting, right? I love a good romance novel, especially when it sounds like there is a great plot behind it (Greek mythology? Count me in). Yeah, this one did not interest me at all. I read the prequel to it (a short novella, I suppose) called The Darkest Fire, and I should have just given up there. It was so cheesy and there was no reason why the characters suddenly fell in love. But I read some reviews that said the full-length novels were much better. And while The Darkest Night was better, it still wasn't something I looked forward to reading. The characters were fairly well developed, but the story-line moved so slowly and it was so cheesy, that I just gave up. Two out of five stars, and that's being nice. 
So I gave up on that, thank goodness, and next I read Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares. Here's what this one's about: 
Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness.
Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected.
First of all, if you haven't read the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, I would definitely recommend them. These books are wonderful. I loved this book because although these characters each have their own lives, they have not forgotten their friends. The characters are not super relatable to me, and I often find myself thinking, Why!? Why did you do that?? But I think that is what makes these books and characters great. They make me question life and give a perspective on how different people handle the struggles life throws at all of us. And through it all, these books are about the importance of friendship. This was a wonderful book. Five stars out of five.
Then I read The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Here's a summary:
Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Here, books are a passion (there is no problem a library card can't solve) and TV is something other people watch. Their father-a professor of Shakespeare who speaks almost exclusively in verse-named them after the Bard's heroines. It's a lot to live up to.
The sisters have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast-living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected; and now, faced with their parents' frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them...
I liked this book. Mostly. These characters, the three sisters, were not relatable at all to me. And while I can still enjoy a book if this is not the case (see above), in this instance these characters kind of drove me nuts. I also just cannot wrap my mind around sisters who "love each other" but don't really "like each other". Yes, I know sisters fight or disagree or whatever. But I have never not liked my sisters. So it was kinda weird for me. The plot was slow, but enjoyable, and towards the end of the book I was finally happy with the choices the characters were making. However, there were times when I would be reading and I felt the author was trying way too hard to be a "writer" instead of just writing. That was obnoxious. Overall, I would give this one three out of five stars. It was a good book about discovering yourself and family love.
After that, I read Wither by Lauren DeStefano (isn't that cover so pretty and yet kinda creepy? I love it!). Here's a quick summary: 
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males born with a lifespan of 25 years, and females a lifespan of 20 years—leaving the world in a state of panic. Geneticists seek a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.
When Rhine is sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Yet her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement; her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next; and Rhine has no way to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive.
Sorry, that's kind of wordy, but that's basically the book in a nutshell. I want to say, first off, that I read many reviews on Goodreads that were not in favor of this book. On the other hand, I read quite a few blog reviews that raved about this book. I would definitely be leaning more towards the raving side. I flew through this book. I loved the characters, the plot, the way the author writes. I really liked it! I will, however, acknowledge that the dystopian world this author creates is completely improbable. This would never happen. No virus is ever going to kill people at a specific age. If the polar ice caps were vaporized, Manhattan (where Rhine is from) would probably not exist. And if World War III destroyed every continent besides North America, I don't think anyone would still be living on it (besides the fact that that itself would probably not happen so neatly). So that part of the book, I had to look past. If the author had thought that all through, it really could have been even better. I gave this one four out of five stars. I'm curious how the author will continue the series. 
Well, that's all my books for October! Hope you enjoy some of these great reads. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Crazy Connection

So, I'm just chillin' in my comfy bed watching Hocus Pocus, the classic Halloween movie I have been watching since I was a kid. I caught the movie just as it's starting, where it's back in the past and the boy, Thackery Binx (by the way, weirdest name ever), tries to save his sister and then the crazy witches turn him into a cat. And just then, I think to myself, No way! Is that? Is that McGee??
McGee as in NCIS McGee? You guys! It is! McGee from NCIS was in Hocus Pocus! Of course, I checked my facts and consulted I still feel kinda like twilight-zoned over here, because what a crazy connection, right?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Yesterday I went in to see my school advisor to talk about registering for spring semester (which starts  at the end of the month! Holy cow!). She wrote down a list of the classes I should try to take next semester, and I'm just sitting there trying to work up the courage to ask how many more classes I have left. Scary thought. So I ask and she is looking at my info and then says, "Oh, you have about 19 classes left."

For a moment my mind went blank, and then I swear I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. 19 classes left, including the ones she wants me to take in the spring. What?! That's like, three semesters if I push myself! And okay, that might seem like a long time, but for me? I was happy. I was getting scared I would be stuck in school the rest of my life! So right now, I'm pretty optimistic and all, Yeah, let's do this!

Next week when I try to schedule my classes, I will probably want to punch something, but until then, I'm in a great mood about school! Especially since this semester has been so good so far. I am not feeling the doubt I did last semester that I chose the wrong major or that I would fail. Right now, I am way driven to put everything I have into school. I sure hope that feeling doesn't fade when I stress out about registering for classes (cause really, that's always a nightmare).

Also, this is me today, probably thanks to the large mug of coffee I had this morning.  Love me some coffee.


Friday, October 12, 2012


I can never say how much I love The Vampire Diaries tv show. I am literally obsessed. I am finally watching the season premiere that I recorded on my DVR and seriously! So much awesomeness! I absolutely love how thrilling this show is. There is nothing blah about it. I love the drama between Elena, Stefan, and Damon. I love that Damon is finally calling Elena out on everything having to be done her way. And is Bonnie not the baddest, coolest witch ever? I heart her! Here are some pics. If you haven't seen this show, you are definitely missing out.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Final Season

Tonight is the season premiere of Gossip Girl and it's the final season. I am so excited! I have been watching this show for so long now, I feel like it's my go-to girly-guilty-pleasure. I am so sad that it's the final season! I remember all the awesome times I have watched it with Jill or my sister and those are just such great memories. I'm so ready for some new episodes!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Books: September Edition

I feel like September was a long, slow month. Which is fine. It means I got some good reading time in between school, work, and family life. I read six books this month, although one was a re-read. I couldn't help it. Ha ha.
First I read Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott. Here's a quick summary, via

Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast. Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.
And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.
Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen — but only if she lets them....
This book was sweet, simple, and very reminiscent of a novel by Sarah Dessen. I liked the secondary characters a lot; Will was funny and genuine, Kate's grandma cracked me up, and the drama with her parents felt very real. However, Kate was whiny, annoying, and kinda blah. I really liked the ending of the book, but I feel like it was rushed. Overall, three out of five stars. 

Then I read a two-part series by Nicole Williams. The books are called Crash and Clash. Here's the overview: 
Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He's got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now.

Jude's everything she knows she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she's about to find out, is the only thing she's incapable of.

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love's about to become the thing that tears them apart
I really liked these books a lot. First of all, they are very real and gritty. I could relate to Lucy so much and I really enjoyed her as a main character. She is everything I try to be, independent, strong, and unique. Jude is your typical bad boy, but with a very sweet side. At first I was annoyed by him and his stupidity, but as the books went on, I found myself liking him more and more. I also loved how these books really explored every aspect of love and making a relationship work. They were wonderful! Four  stars for Crash and five stars for Clash. 
After those two, I tried a book called Taking Chances by Molly McAdams. I was looking for something like Easy by Tammara Webber. Here's the summary for Taking Chances: 
Eighteen year old Harper has grown up under her career Marine of a father's thumb. Ready to live life her own way and experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit; she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family and emotions. Some she wasn't expecting yet, and others she never knew she was missing.

She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with her boyfriend Brandon, and her roommate's brother Chase. Covered in tattoos, known for fighting in the Underground and ridiculously muscled...they're exactly what she was always warned to stay away from, but just what she needs. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both adore and would do anything for Harper, including stepping back if it means she's happy.
It sounds great right? Full of drama, love triangles, college life. And there are some seriously rave reviews for this book on But for me, it did not live up to what I wanted. At all. It was extremely dramatic, in a bad way like a soap opera. The main character, Harper, was annoying, stupid, and had basically no personality. Nothing that happens in this book would happen in real life. Seriously. It was ridiculous. I liked the idea behind the book, and there were parts I enjoyed, but over all, it was way too long, too dramatic (even for me), and too cheesy! I found myself rolling my eyes and was happy when it finally ended. The writing was pretty bad and there was virtually no editing done on this book (a huge pet peeve of mine). Only three stars for this one (although it probably should be two; I'm being nice!).
Then I read Down To You by M. Leighton. Here's the summary, from Goodreads (sorry it's kinda long):
 Olivia Townsend is nothing special. She’s just a girl working her way through college so she can return home to help her father run his business. She’s determined not to be the second woman in his life to abandon him, even if it means putting her own life on hold. To Olivia, it’s clear what she must do. Plain and simple. Black and white.

But clear becomes complicated when she meets Cash and Nash Davenport. They’re brothers. Twins.
Cash is everything she’s always wanted in a guy. He’s a dangerous, sexy bad boy who wants her in his bed at any cost. He turns her insides to mush and, with just one kiss, makes her forget why he’s no good for her.

Nash is everything she’s ever needed in a guy. He’s successful, responsible and intensely passionate. But he’s taken. Very taken, by none other than Marissa, Liv’s rich, beautiful cousin. That doesn’t stop Olivia from melting every time he looks at her, though. With just one touch, he makes her forget why they can never be together.

Black and white turns to shades of gray when Olivia discovers the boys are hiding something, something that should make her run as far and as fast as she can. But it’s too late to run. Olivia’s already involved. And in love. With both of them.
I absolutely loved this book. Honestly. The characters were wonderfully real, the writing was great to read, and the plot was intriguing and yet simple. It was a fast, enjoyable read and I really did like everything about this book. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a good, steamy romance. Five out of five stars. It's that simple. 
Finally, I read Easy by Tammara Webber for the second time. I have already done a review for this one, so I will skip the summary (if you are interested, it was back in my July Books Edition). This book has stuck with me ever since I read it. I can't stop thinking about it. So I decided to re-read it. And it was just as wonderful the second time. You guys, I cannot hate anything about this book! I just love it. Nothing else in the genre has lived up to it. This is wonderful book about college life, relationships, and standing up for the right thing. I love the main characters, the plot, everything. If you haven't read this one yet, read it. You can thank me later. I would give this one six stars out of five, but I guess that's cheating, so five it is! 
Well, sorry this ended up being a long post! I guess I had a lot to say about these books, ha ha. Enjoy!