Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Caught My Interest On Pinterest

Here's another list of amazing things I found on Pinterest. Love it!
So true

So cute!


I laughed so hard I almost busted a gut on this one. I can't tell you how many times I've done this and just stood thee staring at that bowl full of dry cereal. So sad.

I wish I had the skills to make this!

I can't wait to do Wes's room like this! He's superhero crazy!

If I could rip one of these out of my computer screen right now I would totally do it.

Who knew that you could use evaporated milk instead of whipping cream? Not me. There's a whole list of things like this!

This is something I want to always remember.

What amazing things have you found lately?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday Coming Fast

While I did brave the infamous Black Friday crowds (Well I did wait till 6am so I didn't get trampled) I think that CyberMonday is more my style. If you haven't heard of Cyber Monday then you're in luck cause you are now getting one more chance to score crazy awesome deals for your holiday shopping! I love getting the chance to save big while shopping in my jammies. If you're hard core you'll stay up until midnight tonight and get first pick of the deals, or you could just check your computer when you have time tomorrow. Either way I'm sure you'll find some good deals. I'm more of a check the deals when I wake up type of person.

CyberMonday2011.Biz gives a short history of CyberMonday (they also have a collection of upcoming sales):
A popular myth on the Internet is that Black Friday is the top shopping day of the year in the Internet, It is just that, a myth! Cyber Monday is the biggest shopping day online! Stores offer deep discounts on all products from clothing, electronics, televisions, jewelry and much more! We at Cyber Monday 2011 will be monitoring the Internet looking for the best sales and deals at all the major vendors. Cyber Monday launched in 2005 and has been growing ever since. In 2006 Cyber Monday generated 610 million dollars in sales, in only 4 years it has grown to over a billion days in sale on one day! 2011 Is fully expected to over take 2010 numbers as sales and awareness continues to grow. Every year the Cyber Monday deals get better and better and we expect the trend to keep going this season! Cyber Monday 2011 is on November 28th 2011. Be sure to keep in mind that Cyber Monday deals can only be purchased online, not in-store! Most retailers offer free shipping for the sales which makes it even more of a great deal.

CyberMonday2011.com had some good tips on being wise in your online shopping. Along with some great sales to share!
"The Better Business Bureau has put together some tips that we feel should be shared with all of our readers.
  1. Shop trustworthy websites. If a store sounds shady, it is worth the extra time and effort to check them out. Search for their name on Amazon and see if they have a seller rating. Is their website clean and efficient or thrown together and hard to maneuver? That is another huge red flag- reliable sites usually LOOK reliable. Keep that in mind before pulling the trigger on a purchase.
  2. Protect your personal information. Again, if the site is not secure, or just looks plain sketchy- don’t give them your personal information. This really speaks for itself.
  3. Beware of deals that sound TOO great. A Black Friday travel deal that boasts a Bahamas Vacation for $200 is probably too good to be true. Some of these sites will lead with promises of huge deals, but when you get into the fine print, you end up spending thousands. Always, ALWAYS read the fine print if a deal sounds too good to be true, its worth the extra effort to avoid finding out the hard way.
  4. Confirm that your purchase is secure. When you start the checkout process, look at the URL. Most trusted sites start with https. This means that the transactions will be secure. While this is not a foolproof method, it is a great way to quickly check whether or not your information will be secure.
  5. Pay with a credit card. Credit card fees can be disputed. If the company you purchased from turns out to be fraudulent, you have the right to dispute the charges.
  6. Keep all records and confirmations. This should go without saying. Always print your confirmation numbers and receipts. Or take a screen shot and save it to your computer. The best way to dispute issues is with evidence. If you have the paperwork to prove things, you’ll feel more secure."
You can check out specific store websites like Best Buy and Amazon to find what you're looking for or you can go to sites like CyberMonday.com or Deal Taker that have pulled together a list of deals that are being offered for tomorrows big day. Do keep in mind that it's also a big day for scams, so shop retail shops that you feel comfortable with.

Now's the time to get your list out of what you've already purchased and what you are still looking for and get prepared for the awesomeness of CyberMonday :) Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins/Cake/Cookies

I first heard about this recipe from my friend Jess at A Few of My Favorite Things. When I went to find the recipe on Pinterest I found so many different pins on it that it was hard to choose. It's a little healthier than your average cake because you don't use oil or eggs, and it's so incredibly easy! Not to mention super yummy! These are the two blogs that I used.

The Big Red Kitchen:

Two Ingredients Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

You heard me. Two ingredients. Count them. One. Two. When my friend Bobby told me about this cake and that I would loooove it, I had to try it right away. It starts out with a cake mix *gasp* beat with a can of pumpkin filling. That's it. The batter color was beautiful and since it had no raw eggs I got to taste that thick and creamy batter without fear. Delish. Bobby said that I could use any cake mix I wanted and that chocolate was delicious. I still needed to bake this up before I could say for sure that it would be a success. I have done all those fat free cakes in the past with apple sauce in place of oil and had to swallow tough and gummy cakes, pretending (hoping) each bite improved. When I removed this cake from the oven I was pleased with the beautiful color and texture. After it cooled I wanted a nice glaze, something with spunk. I thought to make up a glaze with apple cider to enhance the pumpkin flavor. The cider glaze was over the top good and I will make it again for other Fall-time cakes. After dinner last night, I served this cake and it was a hit with my family. It had the texture of a sponge cake and was not chewy at all. The taste was nice and I could not really distinguish a distinct pumpkin flavor but a nice flavor all the same. If you are in a hurry and need a quick, pretty, and tasty cake, try this one.

Pumpkin Cake
One Cake mix- I used yellow
1 -15 ounce can 100% pumpkin- puree, not pumpkin pie filling

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl mix cake mix with pumpkin filling using a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour batter into a greased 7 x 11 inch baking dish. Bake for 28 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. Serves 8.

Apple Cider Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T. apple cider
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice

In a small bowl blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour over Pumpkin Cake letting it drizzle down the sides of the cake. Let set before covering.

Thanks Bobby!

UPDATE- Read through the comments and see how others are making this cake. Carol made hers into soft cookies! Cathy from Noble Pig loved this cake too!

Update 9/28/11- Just made these the other day baked up in 8 (8 ounce) wide-mouth mason jars for my kids' lunchboxes. Under baked them a few minutes so they would be a bit puddingy and kept it really simple by sprinkling them with powdered sugar. They loved these!

Sweet Verbena:
Back to school means cooking for myself again. I've been pinning all kinds of recipes to my "yum" board in preparation. This one was first on my list.

This lovely recipe is from the Big Red Kitchen.

There's only two ingredients. That's right, just the cake mix and the pumpkin (15 oz.). No oil, no eggs, no water, nothing else. The end result is an amazing, incredibly moist muffin/cupcake with a hint of pumpkin flavor.

It felt kind of strange not to add any liquids to the mix but it came together nicely into a thick batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Add a dusting of powdered sugar, or better yet some homemade cream cheese frosting for added awesomeness.



Made these with chocolate mix too. Read about how they turned out and other ways to alter this recipe here.

There are so many different variations that I heard about!
You can make a cake, muffins, or cookies.
And you can use pretty much any cake mix you've got in your pantry. I used yellow and french vanilla and they turned out great, next time I might try spice cake or devils food, or maybe a sugar free one!
You can add different spices.
And you can top it with everything from cream cheese frosting to powdered sugar to the delicious apple cider glaze the Big Red Kitchen suggests, to nothing at all.
I even read a comment that you can use a can of diet soda instead of a can of pumpkin.

Either way, if you're looking for a crowd pleaser that's super simple and super awesome this is it! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

SimpleMom's Simple Tips: Creating Routines

When I saw this article on SimpleMom I knew it was just what I needed. I hope there is someone out there who feels the same.

5 Tips for Creating Family Routines and Establishing Rhythm in Your Home

by Kara Fleck

Odds are that you already have some sort of rhythm in your life. Even something as simple as bath time, pajamas, brushing teeth, story time is a bedtime routine that children can come to know and count on. Perhaps you go to the library on Thursdays or you bake together on the weekends. Anything that you do on a regular basis is your routine.

Creating a family routine from scratch, adding new elements to an established routine, or altering schedules when life situations change can be a bit intimidating. Being consistent with your schedule helps establish rhythm, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

Here are five tips to keep in mind when creating routines and establishing a rhythm in your home:

1. Keep it Simple

Pick one element to add in to your routine and work on getting that woven into your rhythm before you add another. Decide what your top priority is and focus only on that. Maybe you want to start incorporating a crafting day into your week or a daily story time. Focus on blending that one addition into your schedule before you move on to adding in another layer.

Be Realistic

It is good to have a goal in mind of where you would like to be eventually, but create a schedule based on the way things are at this moment in time. Do what will work for your family the way things are right now.

If you know your child needs to take a nap in the afternoon, don’t plan to run errands or arrange afternoon play dates until after naptime. Save those outings for a time when you know your child is more receptive to activity and it will be more enjoyable for all of you. In our family, we try to schedule outings for only one day a week and let the rest remain low-key.

This is the time to be realistic about your time constraints, obligations, and the ages and stages of your children, too.

2. Stay Flexible

Allow yourself to make changes if things aren’t working. Perhaps the day you chose for crafting is creating stressful afternoons because there isn’t enough time to devote to a project between nap time and dinner preparations. By staying flexible you can play around with your schedule until you find a day and a time that are a better fit.


Don’t be tempted to over-schedule your days. Allow your family to have some downtime. The purpose of routines is to allow your days to run smoother so that your family can enjoy them. Don’t be tempted to fill up those spaces with more activities and commitments when things are running smoothly. Instead, enjoy the quiet and the slow days.

Be Open to Change

Be willing to make changes as your family changes. One thing I have learned to be true about family life is that it exists in a fluid state: children grow, situations change, life happens. Being willing to re-evaluate from time to time gives you the freedom to create a routine that meets the needs of your family.

3. Lower Your Expectations

Yes, I said to lower them. You don’t have to do it all and I would encourage you not to try. Evaluate what is essential and then eliminate what you don’t need. Take out the extra steps and keep things basic.

Start Small

Lets say one of the things you want to add to your routine is to start serving your family a warm breakfast every morning. Don’t overwhelm yourself by attempting a different menu every morning of the week or by preparing complex, time-consuming recipes you’ve never tried before. Seek out something simple and tried-and-true that you already know how to make well. Perhaps make it a goal this first week to serve a hot breakfast for two mornings and then next week aim for four.

Get the basics established and once you have a solid foundation you can build on to your routine from there.

4. Make it Personal

Your family’s rhythm isn’t going to look like any other family’s rhythm. That is okay. Family routines are very personal and each household’s will be unique. The only “right” routine is the one which works the best for you for the place where you are today.

Don’t Try to Keep Up with the Joneses

Many of my own early attempts at creating routines for my family were doomed to fail from the beginning because I was trying to copy the beautiful weekly and daily routines I saw on the blogs I was reading. I was overwhelmed and it wasn’t long before those early plans were abandoned. I set myself up for failure because I trying to do everything my family already normally did PLUS all those neat things I saw other families doing – whether or not they were truly relevant to our life.

Creating routines based on your family’s personal needs means that the changes you seek to make have a greater chance of being successfully implemented.

5. Stay One Step Ahead

Plan and Organize

Once you know what is essential, do some prep work to make it easier to follow your routines. If you want to have a daily nature walk, try establishing a designated place to have coats, hats, mittens, boots within easy reach by the door. You’ll be more likely to take a nature walk if you can get dressed for the elements quickly and easily instead of having to gather the proper wardrobe from all over the house or retrieve items from the mini-van.

If I know that on Wednesday I want to do watercolor painting with the children, then my task on Tuesday night is to make sure we have the proper paper, paints, brushes, aprons, and any other materials relevant to the task. Doing this ahead of time allows us to spend less time on prep-work during our painting time and more time on creating.

Some family routines are more structured, some are more free-form but both types of schedules provide value to the kids who count on them and find comfort in their familiarity. An hour by hour routine doesn’t work for my family, but for many families it works very well. Do what is right for your family.

I think you’ll find that a little rhythm and a basic routine can go a long way toward simple days.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Book Club: Risen

Are you looking for a good book to read? Well you're in luck! I have been introduced to a great new book by Britney Jensen, Risen. Here's a little peek at what it's all about:

"Sunny is a fairly typical teenage girl – at least, she thinks she is – but when she wakes up on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, she knows things have taken a turn for the worst. She can't remember who she is or where she came from, and there is something off about her that she can't quite put her finger on. But before she can even begin to find the answers to these questions, she is quickly picked up and whisked away by Finn, a haunted and devastatingly handsome young man claiming to know who, or more accurately what she is. Determined to keep her safe, he takes Sunny to Reverence, a secret ghost town deep in the Montana mountains that is filled with people just like her.

In an atmosphere thick with mystery and mistrust, Sunny learns the secret of what she is and must come to terms with her impossible new existence. But her own mental struggles to accept what has happened to her aren't all she has to deal with. Sunny's presence in Reverence has put everyone in danger of being found by the dreaded Hunters. These highly skilled government agents are trained to track down and capture people just like Sunny, and they're coming after her. The agent assigned to find Sunny is cold and calculating, and he's got a personal vendetta against her that requires him to stop at nothing to get to her.

Risen is a dark, exciting, and at times romantic look into what might happen if something were to go wrong between this life and the next."

You can download and read the first chapter here, but I warn you, this book will quickly run strait to the top of your To Read pile. At least that's what happened with me! You can buy it on Kindle or in paperback at Amazon here. I was fortunate enough to steal some of Britney's time for a quick interview. Which in turn, makes YOU fortunate too because she's got some great advice, and even a few book recommendations for us. Enjoy :)


What made you want to write a book?
My love of reading! Is there anything better than settling in with a good book and getting lost for awhile? I graduated with a B.A. in English Lit, and after reading so much good literature and becoming attached to so many fabulous novels, writing a story of my own fast became number one on my bucket list.

How did you get started with your story?
One day, while perusing the web, I saw a strange picture of a girl in a graveyard that caught my attention and got things spinning in my mind. She was looking confusedly at a headstone and it just seemed a curious image to me. Out of boredom, I started playing the "What If" game in my mind. What if she was trying to find her OWN headstone? What if she didn't know who she was? What if SHE was the one who was dead? And let the macabre thoughts ensue. It all came rather quickly and it was exciting to me to have an idea that I could see all the way through to the end. Most times, when playing that game, I'd hit a roadblock, or it would just seem, well, dumb. But this was something different, something good, and so I started writing it out.

Is there a character in your book that you relate to?
I think there is a little bit of me in every character. Bossy, confused, protective, funny, introspective, irrational and explosive, yet cautious and prudent. Yep, I'm in there somewhere.

What was the hardest part of writing a book?
Oh my...where do I start? Ha! Since I already had the story and characters in my head, the hardest part for me was learning to be okay to write when the mood strikes, and not set a rigid hourly schedule for myself. I can't force the words if they're not there, and when I tried to set aside specific hours to write, it only left me frustrated. I learned quickly that I don't work that way. Now, I just set a goal of how many words I want to write for the day and try my best to hit it, regardless of if that's in the morning or the middle of the night.

What is the best part of writing a book?

There are so many good parts to writing a book, but by far, the best part is holding it in your hands for the first time after it's complete and thinking, "I wrote this." It's surreal and exciting, and the sense of accomplishment is absolutely priceless. It's like crossing the finish line of a marathon. You're tired and beat, but proud of your work, and against all reason, you can't wait to do it again.

You took a non-traditional path in getting your book published. Could you tell us a little about why you did it, and HOW you did it?
I decided to self-publish after a grueling and disappointing query process. I had requests for my full manuscript from various agencies, all seeming very hopeful and positive, then to get a a response with "Thanks, but this isn't right for us at this time." Talk about a let down. I was about to give up on the whole thing when my husband talked me into putting it out there on our own. It's actually fairly easy to do with minimal costs. It's free to publish on Kindle and Nook. All you have to do is format it, come up with a cover design (I'm lucky my husband and his buddies know a bit about graphic design), and upload it. We found that a lot of people wanted an actual copy of the book, and making it available as a paperback was super easy, too. We went with Createspace.com which is owned by Amazon. They are a Print-on-Demand company, meaning they don't print your novel until someone orders it. This is awesome because you don't have to front thousands of dollars to get your book in print. The costs involved in this are getting an ISBN #, which is around $90, and your own bar code, which is inexpensive as well. It's amazing what tools are available to self-publishers. Now I'm happy to be part of the booming indie-publishing crowd. It's fun and we all try to support each other. If any readers have any other questions on how to do this I haven't addressed, I'm happy to answer! Email me: Risenbook@gmail.com and I'll do what I can!

What, do you think, makes a great character great?
Great characters are ones you can relate to, empathize with, or look up to. I love reading books that I can see myself or someone close to me in the main character. It puts the story that much closer to real life.

What are 3 of your favorite books/series/authors?
My all-time favorite book, one that I read every year without fail is Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury. Seriously, it is the most perfect book ever written and every time I read it I'm astounded at how Bradbury does it. The book is so good you can smell, see, taste, hear everything. If you haven't read it, I recommend it...highly, You're welcome. Ha!
I also love The Hunger Games series. Could Katniss be any cooler? And anything by Neil Gaiman. He's a mad genius.

What advice would you give to people with ambitions to write a book, or publish one they have hiding in a drawer somewhere?
What are you waiting for? Even if you don't have all the answers, or aren't sure where your book is going, just go for it! I didn't write Risen for anyone else besides me. I wrote it because I wanted to write it. So don't write your book trying to please agents or critics or friends, write it to please you. Write something you would want to read. And if you've already done that and have your MS collecting dust in a drawer, bust that baby out, dust it off, and get it out here where people like me are waiting to read it! Whether that's the traditional route, or the indie route, doesn't matter. Share your talent!

Twitter: @BritneyJensen
Website: www.RisenBook.com

Thanks again Britney! You've inspired me in more ways than one, and I can't wait to put that to use. Everyone remember to check out her website and her book! And she's even been kind enough to give us her e-mail address if anyone out there wants to pick her brain some more. Thank you to some of my favorite people (and bakers) at One Sweet Slice for connecting me with Britney! Happy reading to you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Lazy Woman's Guide To Fabulous Hair

I don't know about you but I sit up and take notice on any style tips that include the two words, Lazy and Fabulous. Yay for Oprah for combining those two words!

Fast Fix 1: Stop Frizz Before It Starts

Use a shampoo and conditioner with argan oil, says hairstylist Jeanie Syfu. It lightly coats hair and locks in moisture, preventing flyaways. Try Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, which contain softening apricot extract and argan oil—for less than $5.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Hair-Ideas-Easy-Hair-Ideas#ixzz1djsXkEaN

Fast Fix 2: Upgrade Your Towel

A lot of women vigorously rub their hair with a towel thinking it will speed up drying time, but it only roughs up the texture and causes frizz. Blot with a microfiber towel instead and then wrap it around your head to soak up excess moisture. This one from Aquis Essentials (at left) is made of fabric that absorbs water faster than standard terry cloth.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Hair-Ideas-Easy-Hair-Ideas/2#ixzz1djsvvZ00

Fast Fix 3: Make Wet Hair Work

By far the most time-consuming part of hairstyling is the blow-out. Here's how to skip it—and still look put together.

1. Squeeze out excess water with a microfiber towel.

2. Apply a leave-in conditioner to your ends, like L'Oréal Paris EverSleek Humidity Defying Leave-In Crème; it will seal the cuticle and help your style hold its shape.

3. If your cut is chin length or shorter, make a deep side part with a comb and slick the sides down behind your ears. Add a smoothing balm on the crown to keep stray pieces in place.

4. If you have long hair, pull it into a high ponytail near the crown using a fabric elastic. We like the ones from Emi-Jay that don't cause breakage.

5. Wind the tail around the base of your pony to create a bun and secure it with long, rubber-coated hairpins that won't snag.

6. Once your hair has had a few hours to air-dry, let it down. You'll have a head full of body and waves.

Fast Fix 4: Limit Your Blow-Dryer Time

A high-quality dryer can shave at least 30 minutes off your normal routine. For a smoother finish, look for models that use a combination of tourmaline and ionic technology (like the T3 Featherweight Luxe, at left, or the more budget-friendly T3 Veloce) both of which contain ceramic heating coils that distribute heat more evenly. A good dryer will also have a nozzle that attaches to the front of the barrel to focus the air. If you have curls, look for a diffuser with prongs, which act like fingers to help define waves as you dry, says Syfu. Spritz a volumizing product that contains alcohol (like Redken Rootful 06 Root Lifting Spray) through damp hair to help speed up the process, she adds.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Hair-Ideas-Easy-Hair-Ideas/4#ixzz1djufNLyl

Fast Fix 5: Sleep on It

No time to get to the salon for a trim? Nexxus Split End Binding Overnight Treatment Crème contains polymers that attach to split ends to fuse them together while you sleep. You'll wake up to smoother hair, and the nongreasy formula won't leave residue on your pillow.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Hair-Ideas-Easy-Hair-Ideas/5#ixzz1djv6r9Hn

Fast Fix 6: Extend the Life of Your Blow-Out

Salon hair-straightening treatments can leave your hair looking sleek but may also expose you to toxic formaldehyde (and can cost a small fortune). For a safe alternative that doesn't require a visit to your stylist, we like Living Proof Straight (which doesn't contain silicone that can weigh fine hair down). This spray, which can be used on wet or dry hair, contains a humidity-blocking molecule that prevents frizz on even the muggiest days. If your hair is coarse, apply John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight to it while it's damp and then blow-dry and flatiron to seal in the product. It requires extra effort, but the results last until your next shampoo.

Fast Fix 7: Control Curls Quickly

Defining curls with a curling iron or hot rollers can eat up a lot of time. Give your natural texture a boost by applying a leave-in conditioner and a styling product for curls, like Pantene Pro-V Curl Enhancing Spray Gel (at left), to damp hair; evenly distribute it with a wide-tooth comb. Use your fingers to twist one- to two-inch sections all over your head to encourage S-shaped curls. Then hands off—touching or scrunching causes hair to frizz. Instead, tilt your head to one side and use a diffuser to push curls toward your scalp as you blow-dry. Even if you don't have time to fully dry hair, five to 10 minutes of heat helps lock in the shape, says Syfu, who has styled models' hair—from the super curly to pin straight—in a hurry during New York Fashion Week. To revive and hydrate waves the next day, try Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Reactivating Mist.

Fast Fix 8: Give Yourself a Day (or Two...or Three) Off

Forget firing up your blow-dryer. Use a dry shampoo to get rid of grease, add volume and leave hair looking refreshed. The key to avoiding a filmy residue, says Syfu, is holding the can at least eight inches away from your scalp and spritzing the product in short bursts onto your roots. Give the powder a few seconds to settle and absorb excess oil; then work it in with your fingers and brush it out. We like Tresemmé Fresh Start Strengthening Dry Shampoo, which gives hair a clean, citrus scent.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Hair-Ideas-Easy-Hair-Ideas/8#ixzz1djwsJ994

We've got eight effortless fixes that'll leave you looking polished in no time.
By Amber Kallor

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Hair-Ideas-Easy-Hair-Ideas/9#ixzz1djxUjJSV

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hart Of Dixie

So this has quickly become one of my favorite new shows of the season. It's on Mondays on the CW and I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't already. It's one of those feel good shows that I love so much.

New doctor and aspiring heart surgeon, Zoe Hart has been turned down for the fellowship she wanted in New York and forced to take a job in Bluebell, Alabama as a General Practitioner. A job she'd been offered for years from a nice man she met at her college graduation. It's not until she takes the job that she finds out 2 important facts. One- the man has died. Two- the man was her real father. Now she finds herself out of her element and out of luck in making friends.

She has met quite a few people, here's a quick run down:
Zoe's new partner is Dr. Brick Breeland. Everyone in the town knows and loves him, just the opposite of how everyone feels about Zoe. Brick is determined to get rid of Zoe and have the practice all to himself once more.

Brick's daughter is Lemon. She's not the sweetest cherry on the pie, and she's not exactly fond of Zoe. Not just because her father would rather have the practice to himself, but also because it's fairly obvious that Zoe is attracted to her fiance, George Tucker.

George is the town golden boy. He was the first person Zoe met when she got into town and the two have had a connection since. George worked as a lawyer in New York for a time so he can relate to Zoe on a level no one else in Bluebell can. He genuinely adores Lemon, but he also seems to have a genuine fondness for Zoe. So that's pretty much a recipe for disaster. Either that, or just really good TV.

Unfortunately for George his darling fiance seems to have some unresolved issues with Lavon Hayes, the town mayor and former football star. We're not sure what happened there, but we know it was big, and seems far from over.

Unfortunately for Lemon, Zoe's new BFF is none other than Mayor Lavon Hayes. They took to each other right away, she's even living on his property. Although you'd think the mayor would have a nicer guest house.

Lavon has a second guest house where our friend Wade stays. Wade, despite his obvious A+ points (I like to call them abs and arms), you don't make him one of your favorite people until you've seen a few episodes. Then you begin to carve out a place in your heart for him. Although Zoe still manages to keep him at arms length. :) He's worth a second look though.

And here it is, didn't I say it'd be worth it? Oh yeah.

So people, if you're not watching Hart of Dixie, you should be. Look it up on Hulu and get caught up!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Poetry Corner

Stepping back I crane my neck and strain my eyes to see
The massive monstrous mountain that’s grown in front of me
I’m so tired of being blind to what will come my way
I wont spend another second waiting here today

Not here, not now, I’m sorry to say
For you I have a better way

Nursing injuries, nursing pride I start to go around
I quickly find that I am lost and cry out to be found
Suddenly I seem to see a clearing past the trees
Excitement rises as I glide forward with the breeze

Not here, not now, I’m sorry to say
For you I have a better way

Sitting still, and very lost, the day has turned to night
Through the trees and coming close I see a beam of light
Racing for the lighted path things begin to change
The wall of trees has turned to stone, everything feels strange

Yes here, yes now, don’t turn away
You have found the better way

Deep breathe in and deep breathe out I get my feet to start
The wall of stone goes on for hours, fear clutches my heart
When finally I reach the end, the path is clear at last
The mountain that consumed my future, now lies in my past

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Acapella Medley of Disney Songs.

Sorry for being so absent, we had a a family issue. We're getting back on track and here's a hilarious video of a group of guy Acapella singers doing a Disney Medley. I especially love their Little Mermaid.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lots of Books I Love

There are so many books out there that I already love, and so many that are waiting for me to love them. I am one of those people that can read a book over and over again. My husband can never seems to understand it, but I can't help myself. I love to immerse myself into their different worlds.

Next on my list to read is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I have yet to talk with a single person who has had anything bad to say about it. I'll publish

Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

And now a short list of some of my favorite books.

Harry Potter Series

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What's it about? Ok, I'll tell you what you should already know. Harry Potter is the story of a young boy orphaned before he could walk living with his hostile Aunt, Uncle, and cousin. As he discovers his true heritage of magic (that his Uncle tried to keep hidden from him) he enters another world of witches and goblins and trolls and anything else you could ever imagine. Along with his heritage, he also finds that he has a destiny that will decide the fate of his new world as well as his old one.

Why do I love it? There are too many reasons why I love these books. At the top of the list.... 1-I love Rowling's sense of detail and foreshadowing. I love the dawning realization when you read something in a later book that references small details in the first few books. It's like solving a mystery! 2-It constantly makes me laugh out loud. Fred and George Weasley in particular are incredibly funny! 3-Although it's in the Children's section of your local book store, it's not your typical children's book. It has so much more depth and sorrow than you would expect, and it makes them hard to put down.

Extras? I was a little unsatisfied with the ending of the series. I still had a lot of questions about what happened to a lot of the characters. Luckily Rowling gave an interview afterward and cleared up a few things. Click to find out what happens!

The Hunger Games Trilogy

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What's it about? The Hunger Games is about a young girl named Katniss Everdeen who lives in a post-apocalyptic North America which is now called Panem. The powerful government that now rules has basically enslaved and impoverished the majority of the population so the people of the Capital can live in lazy luxury. The Hunger Games are a yearly contest where the government chooses a young boy and girl from each of the 12 enslaved districts to fight to the death in a televised spectacle. This year Katniss will enter the ring and for better or for worse, change everything.

Why do I love it? 1-Katniss is a very endearing character with her tragic circumstances, dry humor, huge heart, and of course, the way she's completely oblivious to all things romantic. Putting this love-impaired girl in the middle of a love triangle will make your heart swell and your insides wince. Not to mention that her skill with a bow and arrow is deadly lethal and kicks trash! 2-Peeta who's another point in the triangle, is my personal favorite. He's quietly loved Katniss all his life, and has to choose between her life or his own when they're both chosen for this years hunger games. 3-I love the overall story of the people coming together to try and overthrow a tyrannical government. A ragged army led by the unlikely, unladylike and sometimes unwilling hero of the people.

Extras? For more information click here.

The Mortal Instruments

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What's it about? The Mortal Instruments is a series about magical races living in secret within our world. There are the Shadowhunters who, with the help of special tattoos, are gifted with speed and strength to fight demons and the other dark things that threaten people. They are invisible to the human eye. And the Downworlders which include Vampires and Werewolves. Clary Fray is the central character who believes she is a normal girl until she starts seeing people no one else can see and is attacked by something she can only describe as a demon. She's protected and taken in by the local shadowhunters where she discovers that her family history is intertwined with her new friends. She finds herself in the tug of war of love with her best friend Simon and her shadowhunter bodyguard Jace. The series throws you so many curve balls your head will be spinning by the end!

Why do I love it? 1-While I married my nice guy husband, I have a very soft spot in my heart for the 'misunderstood bad boy'. Jace melts my heart with his sarcastic humor and guarded heart. 2-Clary goes from thinking she's completely average to having abilities that impress even her shadowhunter friends. I love a strong female lead!

Extras? The series was originally going to be a trilogy but there will be a 4th book coming out this year on April 5th! Not to mention a trilogy of Prequels! The first of which has already been released. Clockwork Angel (see below) is on my to read list, but I've heard nothing by good things about it. For more information on all of this click here.

The Wheel of Time

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What's it about? The novels center around the lives of 3 country boys (Rand, Mat, and Perrin) who discover that they are meant for grander things than herding sheep or working in a blacksmith's forge. One of which is the 'Dragon Reborn', the reincarnation of the most feared and revered man to ever live, Lews Therin Telamon. He is the last line of defense the world has against the Dark One. Robert Jordan writes with such passion and wit and humor that I get so immersed I forget what's real and what's not.

Why I love it?1-Mat. He is my all time favorite character. He's the very model of a man who refuses to grow up. He loves drinking, gambling, and women, not necessarily in that order. He always has someone to blame for what ails him (usually his friend Rand), but despite his childish tendencies, he has a brave heart and a habit of risking his life to save his friends. Although he will complain about it the entire time. ;) 2-The lingo. Jordan not only creates his own language aka 'The Old Tongue', he also creates his own slang. 'Light!'='Crap!' 'Peace'='Calm down' 'Blood and bloody ashes!'=pick your favorite curse word and insert here 3-The struggle of good over evil. The entire 14, soon to be 15 book series is a giant struggle of good over evil. You're constantly surprised with who chooses which side and why.

Extras? The 14th and final book in this massive series is coming out this year! YAY! For more info on that click here.

CL Wilson's Fading Lands Series

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DISCLAIMER - This is a romance novel series and not for everyone. However if you do like romance novels and fantasy books this is a great series. It's very soft-core romance, and hard-core fantasy.

What's it about? These novels are about Ellysetta Baristani the sadly awkward looking adopted daughter of a woodcarver. She's been plagued with nightmares and seizures all her life, which has caused her parents to be overprotective and her friends to be scarce. She's about to be trapped into an unwanted marriage with a harsh man when she finds that she has powerful magic and a soul mate in the legendary Fey Warrior and Tairen Soul, Rain. Not to mention he's the king of the Fey people. Rain and Ellysetta struggle to complete their mate bond before Rain goes mad and the evil High Mage can steal Ellysetta's vast magic for himself.

Why do I love it? 1-Love is the main theme of these 5 books, and it's done so well. They take you through every stage of love from attraction to eternal devotion, and you can feel every moment of it to your toes. 2-Once again you see a strong female lead in Ellysetta, but what I love about her specifically is that she starts out seeing herself as a silly girl and ends up a powerful woman in her own right. 3-It's rare to find a series that you're completely satisfied with the ending. These books are darn near perfect!

Extras? For more information click here.

The Baby-Sitters Club Series

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What's it about? So as you could probably have guessed, these books are about a group of friends who start a babysitter's club. Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are the founders of the club, and the books follow their lives through several years.

Why do I love it? Ok, so there are literally hundreds of these books out there and I haven't read them all, but when I was a little girl I sure tried. These are the books that made me love to read. I was even a member or the fan club! I had originally planned (as a little girl) to name all of my daughters after Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey, but I have since then changed my mind. :) If you have a young daughter I would recommend them every time!

Extras? For more information click here.

The Twilight Series

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What's it about? If you don't know what Twilight is about then I will assume you are Amish. In which case you wouldn't be reading this blog. So this is really just for me. Twilight is about Bella Swan, an unusually mature teenager who gives up living with her mother in Phoenix to give her more time with her new husband, and forces herself to exile in Forks, WA to live with her dad. While she planned on being miserable until she graduated she found an unusual best friend, adventures, and the love of her life all waiting for her.

Why do I love it? Apart from Bella being a character that most young girls can relate to, and amazing love story that is told here, there are 3 things that make me love these books so much. 1-Edward 2-Jacob 3-Emmitt

Extras? On Stephenie Meyer's website if you click on each novel there are many extra's that she's included for you. From deleted chapters she calls Outtakes, to her song list for the book. It's really fun to check out! Not to mention the first few chapters of Midnight Sun, which is Twilight rewritten from Edward's point of view. Click here to check it out.

The Host

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What's it about? The Host has 2 main Characters, but the twist is, they're both sharing the same body...did you get chills? The world has been taken over by the Souls. Alien beings who attach themselves inside of their hosts and take over their lives. Melanie who was one of a dwindling number of humans left has finally been captured. Wanderer, a soul famous for the number of planets she's lived on is placed into her body. Wanderer expected Melanie to be gone when she woke up, but Melanie had other plans. Melanie tries desperately to hang on to protect her little brother Jamie and her boyfriend Jared while Wanderer fights to keep control. When Melanie's strong feelings for her loved ones start to overlap on Wanderer it's all up to chance!

Why do I love it? 1-The love triangle get's a little more complicated when there's 4 people and only 3 bodies! 2-I love the idea of a world where money doesn't matter and all of our illnesses are curable. 3-Ian is my favorite lovable teddy bear!

Extras? For more info on The Host click here.

I love to discuss my favorite books and I love to get recommendations for new favorites! Tell me what you think!


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