Monday, January 31, 2011

A Few More to Swap--Any Takers?!

This book swapping has been fun!  Thank you for the offers! 

I'm just going to post the rest of the books I have open for swapping here to keep from spreading it out the rest of the week! I'd like to get back to normal blogging!

The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

The Secret Life of Bees
Trade Paperback

My Sisters Keeper, by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper: A Novel
Mass Market Paperback

Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris

Dead until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire Series #1) (True Blood) by Charlaine Harris
Mass Market Paperback

The Monsters of Templeton, by Lauren Groff

The Monsters of Templeton

AND! I came across ANOTHER copy of Twenty Boy Summer to swap!

Twenty Boy Summer
Trade Paperback

If you're interested in reading any of these, leave a comment with your email address and a book (or a list of books to choose from) that you'd be willing to swap for it (them).  

Anyone interested?

(US Addresses Only)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wanna Swap? The Secret Life of Bees

I have some books I'm willing to swap, so I thought I'd post one at a time, and see if any of you have something you'd be willing to swap for it. 

Round Three:

The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

The Secret Life of Bees
It's a gently read paperback.

If you're interested in reading this, leave a comment with your email address and a book (or a list of books to choose from) that you'd be willing to swap for it.  I'll pick out one I'm interested in/haven't read yet and email you.

Anyone interested?

(US Addresses Only--on a budget... sad face)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wanna Swap? Twenty Boy Summer anyone?

 I have some books I'm willing to swap, so I thought I'd post one at a time, and see if any of you have something you'd be willing to swap for it. 

Round Two:

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer

I have two copies of this, and there's no reason to hoard both!!  
It's a gently read paperback.

If you're interested in reading this, leave a comment with your email address and a book (or a list of books to choose from) that you'd be willing to swap for it.  I'll pick out one I'm interested in/haven't read yet and email you.

Anyone interested?

(US Addresses Only--on a budget... sad face)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wanna Swap? Graceling Anyone?


So, this might be a silly idea, but I have some books I'm willing to swap, so I thought I'd post one at a time, and see if any of you have something you'd be willing to swap for it. 

Round One:

Graceling by Kristin Cashore


It's a gently read paperback.

If you're interested in reading this, leave a comment with your email address and a book (or a list of books to choose from) that you'd be willing to swap for it.  I'll pick out one I'm interested in/haven't read yet and email you.

Anyone interested?

(US Addresses Only--on a budget... sad face)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When Did We Lose Our Language?

"I lay it down as a general rule, Harriet, that if a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him....But do not imagine that I want to influence you." - Emma, by Jane Austen

My version:
"Look, Harriet. It's just my opinion but if you're having doubts about the guy, say no. 

"Really, Mr. Collins," cried Elizabeth with some warmth, "you puzzle me exceedingly. If what I have hitherto said can appear to you in the form of encouragement, I know not how to express my refusal in such a way as to convince you of its being one." - Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

My version:
"Seriously, dude," I laughed, "if you think I was leading you on you're a total moron." 

Jane Austen wrote in the early 1800's, which, in the grand scheme of things, wasn't all that long ago, folks.  Especially when you really internalize that the Colosseum was constructed 2,000 years ago and it still stands today.  

So within the last 200 years, how did we manage to completely butcher our language? Why is there such a thing as ebonics? Why do we use slang? When did we start using contractions in effort to save time? Why did we let the romance of our speech slip away?  

How have our manners gotten so lax? Not that long ago, people wouldn't dream of speaking to someone they had not been introduced to.  While these days it's little awkward for a minute or two if your friend forgot to introduce you to someone new, but if they seem like someone you want to meet you'd likely put your hand out and say, "Hi, my name's _____," wouldn't you? 

And so many people don't even know how to write anymore. Now that we have television and internet and "gamer" is an occupation, no one sits around penning thoughtful letters or practices their penmanship.  Don't even get me started about texting;  we hv a lv/ht reltnshp n sometimes i just wnt 2 throw my phone out th win n forget i ever hd 1.  

While the modern half of my brain is thankful for "progress" (certainly not all of it positive change), there is a part of me that longs for a kinder and more respectful society (among other things that I might discuss tomorrow....). 

Sigh. At least we have our movies.      


Monday, January 24, 2011

Those Who Can't Do... Try Anyway

As some of you know from one of last week's posts, I've been on a decorating kick.  And since I'm not one for spending money, I've been trying to use what I have already collected/already just have laying around.  Long before I went to Italy to take my own pictures, I googled some Tuscan scenes to paint on this really really huge canvas someone had given me.  I started it, got frustrated, and there it sat. Until yesterday!

The background hills were already done, so I did the green hill, the house, and the trees yesterday. I think I'm happy enough with it to hang it above the piano--the wall is an olive green color, so it should work nicely.  I bought another canvas the same size this weekend (hello sale!) which I plan to paint something a little more abstract on for that space above the entertainment center I showed y'all.  Thanks for the inspiration! :) 

Here's an idea for you artsy/artsy curious types.  Got scrapbooking paper?? Make paper art!  When I went to Alaska, we found this really cute shop with framed paper art hanging everywhere and my mother in law kept saying, YOU COULD TOTALLY DO THIS!  I took lots of mental snapshots and created a piece of my own.  Not sure where to hang it yet...

There are some friends of mine who get a little testy that I have so many things I do.  But you know what I say to them?  If you're interested in something, TRY IT.  I'm not a master at anything I do, but I do it because I like it (jack of all trades, master of none--sounds about right).  

You never know if you can do something until you try. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

There are SO Many Contests Going on... and I've WON Some!

I used to be a bit skeptical about blog contests... or maybe I should say, pessimistic.  Didn't think I'd win any, ever.  But last year I've won several, and just in the past month, I've won FOUR giveaways!!

FOUR!! I mean, what are the chances!! But then I thought about it... all of the contests I won, I ENTERED.  That's the key.  You can't win if you don't play.  :::grins:::

So take a gander <---- at my sidebar under CONTESTS and take a looksie at all the great contests/giveaways going on.  There are some fantastic prizes for doing virtually NOTHING all because we bloggers are a lovely bunch.  And speaking of giveaways, have you entered for these lovely prizes yet???

Click the image and head on over to my team blog with my homegirls and enter for your chance to win!  If we hit 100 followers by our launch date, there just might be a little extra something up for grabs! 

So what have I won lately, and from which blogs you ask??

Magically, I won Kim Franklin's giveaway of a signed copy of The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney! 

The Mockingbirds

Then I won these five lovelies from Stephanie!

13 Little Blue Envelopes The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 2) Twenty Boy Summer Wintergirls Before I Fall

And there were these two from Cleverly Inked!

Infinite Days (Vampire Queen) The Healing Wars: Book II: Blue Fire

And this week I won this ARC from Market My Words!

The Radleys: A Novel

What about you? Have you entered any good ones recently? Won anything? Hosting one?!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Walls are Naked!

Three and a half years living in this house and most of my walls are still blank.  There are several reasons...

1) can't make up my mind about what should go where

2) have a hard time buying artwork by other people--I always feel like I should cover the walls in my own stuff (it's ridiculous, I'M AWARE) and photos.

3) don't really have enough stuff for all the walls, and that would mean having to spend money (on fancy metalwork or frames for the artwork I'd make or pictures I'd take.... of course)

4) sort of lazy about it (or the walls have been blank for so long I hardly notice it anymore)

So the past couple of years I've been collecting things... empty frames, architectural salvage, metal art pieces on sale at Hobby Lobby.... and yesterday my mom came over and helped me hang stuff throughout the house!  She's super good at knowing what looks good where and how to arrange things (a gene that apparently didn't get passed along, because while I might THINK something looks good... it's probably dorky.) Here is a look at some of my walls now.

Here is the breakfast nook!

And if we look closer, we'll find a Kristin original :)  This is my newest scarf, and the first one made with yarn from an actual yarn store.  It's not as soft as it should be (I just loved the colors!)--I'll go for Alpaca next time.

Here is a glimpse at my office where I'm sitting right now. If you really look, you can see that I have Blogger open and I'm working on this post... creepy, eh? 
Yes we did realize one of the shelves is warped, but who's going to stare at it long enough to notice? I'm not buying new ones just yet. (FYI- The red painting (the good one) is not mine). And yes I know my desk is a folding table... you want to buy me a real one??? ;)

We also hung a little metal deal I had laying around over some watercolor paintings I bought in Italy (good time to cave on not buying anyone else's art, right??).

We didn't add anything to this wall, but it completes the Italy corner of the house. 

So, there is still plenty of wall space left in the house, and I plan to tackle them one by one.  The most obviously blank wall in the house though, is right above the entertainment center.
Please ignore the disorganized shelves--I haven't moved things back since I took down Christmas (though my Willow Tree Nativity is still there... oops).

Any ideas?? It's a big space! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

(Veronica) Mars Monday

I will preface this post with a couple notes for those of you that haven't watched Veronica Mars:

1 - you should

2 - you will love it even though it will leave you with a gigantic hole

3 - if you plan to watch, don't read the rest of this post, for it will spoil everything

Okay, now that the unfortunates have left the room, let's get down to business.

WHY THE BLEEP DID THEY CANCEL THIS SHOW??  And not only that, but why was it canceled WHERE it was canceled??  There is zero closure.  Of all the open wounds from all the shows in all the world...

Some things I love about VM:

  • Veronica herself--she's quick-witted, sassy, adorable, and smarter than your border collie.  She's got quite the flair for picking up on the clues that your average teen girl dealing with the drama of her own love life wouldn't, and gets to the truth of every case she takes on.  And when she gets in a jam, she doesn't instantly know martial arts, she gets her butt kicked.  She's also very quotable: Talking to her friend Wallace, she rests her chin on her hand and ponders him.  "What?" he asks.  "Oh, I'm just trying to figure out which Gilmore Girl you are."  LOVE it.  Do I want to be more like her?  You bet I do--body structure (I can dream, right?), hair (I've already started styling mine in season 3 fashion... don't judge me), charm, wit.  The boys sure like her! Which brings me to...
  • Logan Echolls--for much of Season 1, he was a bad word.  I didn't even think he was attractive (or in the running for boyfriend material) because he was such a jerk!  Then whammo... something changed.  He got protective of Veronica.  We got to see the softer side--kudos to Jason Dohring for the heartbreaking scene delivery; he's got it down.  When Logan falls in love, he falls hard.  You can see everything he feels through his eyes, which just melts the viewer. MELTS I tell you. 
  • Keith Mars--Veronica's dad.  What a skit he is.  He looks like just the average dad next door, but not only is he brilliant, he's understatedly hilarious. Great casting job pairing up these two--the father/daughter chemistry is spot on.  

Let's talk about the last episode.  Logan has beat the crap out of Piz (though later it's discovered that Piz had nothing to do with that video leak) and Veronica wants Logan out of her life (GASP!).  But when Logan happens to be around when Veronica is publicly blasted by a secret society idiot, does he stand back and watch? NO. He beats the crap out of him too.  I think Veronica's smile at this is an indication that they'll be together in the long run.  Veronica's dad is running for Sheriff against the other PI in town who has no problem hanging Keith's dirty laundry out for all to see.  In the last minute of the show, Veronica awakes to find the front page of the newspaper featuring the trouble her dad is in, she goes to vote for him in the special election, then walks out into the rain. The End. 

Excuse me, but how is this an end?  It just leaves a whole lot of questions.  A big gaping hole in my heart that must be filled with more Logan/Veronica and I need to know that her dad won't continue to be wronged by the town.  

Here is how I've decided to pretend the last scene really played out: 

Not only do they show Veronica voting for her dad, but they also show many other townspeople voting for him too, so we know he will win and all will be well.  And who else is there voting? None other than Logan Echolls.  He opens the door for Veronica and they share a knowing smile as well as an umbrella, and walk down the sidewalk arm in arm.  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hollywood Spy Awards

Put on your Sunday formals and head on over to the best award ceremony of the year.

Many of you already know and love Dezz, the blogging world's favorite spy on all things movies and television.  But for those of you who don't, swing on over--you're sure to learn something fascinating!

Yours truly was bestowed an award this year!!

:::taps microphone and wipes a tear from cheek:::

"Thank you, Dezz! It's such an honor to be recognized among the other hearts of the blogging world today.  I'd like to thank my parents and husband for teaching me what it means to love and to be loved, my blogging friends for embracing my web presence, and Dezz for sharing his spy intel.  I will cherish this award always, and look on it as a reminder that what goes around comes around! Give love, get love!  Here's to another great year of blogging and networking!"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why I Shouldn't Be Adding Books to my TBR Pile...

So, yesterday I had y'all help me figure out which books I should order with my mad money Amazon gift card.  It seems Matched was mentioned by nearly everyone, so I think if I don't win it in a blog contest I entered over at Novels During Naptime (yes by mentioning it I am decreasing my chances, but if you aren't following Karen, you should be), Matched will definitely be on my list.  As for picking the other two... gosh.  So. Hard.  Across the Universe will probably make it (Again, assuming I don't win it in a contest), and I'm torn between Anna and the French Kiss, Firelight, and The Iron King (Actually I'm torn between more than that and the longer I wait the more my list will change (hello... Desires of the Dead??)

Here is a quick grainy photo I snapped of my bookshelf this morning:

My insanely handy husband (maybe I should be calling him Handy??? :) built this for me a couple years back (I think he could sell them...), and it's still unfinished. I cannot decide what color to paint it!!! I tested out some reds and they all looked hideous, tried chocolate brown but the books would get lost on such a dark color. So there it sits. Just plain wood.   

Anyway, there are quite a few holes you see on my shelf because of the reorganizing I did for the sake of this picture, which I'm thinking should stay to inspire me.  Let me draw your attention to the large section mid right:

Blogging friends, I give you my TBR pile.  Now... this collection has been building for several years, some of them bought back when I had a steady paying job and I frequently took my lunch breaks at Borders (hey, they sent me the coupons... and now that they are facing bankruptcy, I sort of blame my old company for laying me off and keeping me from spending money there), some of them (7) I won in blog contests (it really does pay to enter them {ok, I see Twenty Boy Summer made it in that stack... that was an accident. I've already read it, but I won a copy last week along with 4 others and apparently didn't take it out of the stack}), some of them are loaners (those three books with the glare are The Vampire Diaries books my friend is letting me borrow--she read them when she was a teen so they are beat up and smell nice and old the way I like my books!), many of them were bought with gift cards I got for birthdays and Christmases. . . (can you tell I'm making excuses--trying to make it sound like I did not spend $300 on all of these hahaha).

No matter how I ended up with them, the point is, I have them, and I haven't read them... and there are a lot more of them than I thought.  So... no more book buying after my Amazon certificate unless I'm going to meet an author (hello Rachel Hawkins (of Hex Hall fame) on March 4th!) until I make a SERIOUS dent in this pile!!!!  

Anyone else have a ridiculously large TBR pile haunting them??

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Nice Problem to Have... But I Still Need Your Help

It's becoming a tradition for hubs and I to collect our spare change throughout the year in a milk bottle/carafe thing and come January (at least this year and last year it was January) we split up the coins at the local Coinstar machine.  Instead of taking straight cash (for which they charge like a 9% fee), you can get an eCertificate to places like iTunes, Amazon, GAP stores, etc...  Last year, I put all my money into iTunes, but this year I got smart and split it up and it was miraculous how it worked out--$25 to Amazon, $25 to iTunes!!  (Hubs couldn't find a place he wanted so he took straight cash of $55 and some odd cents which he will probably take to some outdoor store to buy a new Duck Decoy)
Not too bad for a year's collection in a milk bottle!! Who knew?!?!

So here's my problem: narrowing down my choices.  Obviously I am going to get books from Amazon because to this brain, that's all they sell ;)

Some of the titles I'm considering:
Nightshade: Book 1 Anna and the French Kiss Firelight Incarceron 
The Lost Saint: A Dark Divine Novel Unearthly (Unearthly - Trilogy) The Iron King (Harlequin Teen) Matched

The list really does go on and on.... because there are still so many books that have yet to be released--I'd just need patience for that!!  (plus I really should be looking out for my 2011 Reading Challenge we're going to host at! But I'll do a post on that later this week ;)  Let's not even mention the STACK of books in my TBR pile here at home and the new stack of books I've won from blog contests (a post on that coming as well!).

So, what say you?  Any votes for which 3 books my list should be narrowed down to??  Feel free to throw some at me that aren't on the list--if you loved it, tell me.