Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011 = Awesomesauce

We had a great 5 year anniversary (Friday before Christmas) and a really good Christmas. :) Already decided upon making red velvet cheesecake supreme for my mother-in-law for her birthday this Friday...but we still don't know what to get her for her birthday. Hmm.

The kids with Santa :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fall Into Reading 2011: Wrap Up

Today is the wrap up for the Fall Into Reading 2011 challenge that ran from Sept 23 to Dec 21. This was my first reading challenge to participate in outside of the awesome ones we did in elementary school.

I should've known I wouldn't finish all the books, I finished 4 out of 20. I did read 2 book club books in the middle of that - they were separate off the list. I haven't been reading hardly at all though. My husband got home from deployment on the 6th of October and everything for me that I was used to doing to kill the alone time I had after the kids went to bed was put on the back burner. Then the holidays and planning the holidays got the best of me. I have already signed up for at least 2 challenges for 2012 (2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge & 2012 YA Reading Challenge) and I have an actual reading schedule typed up so that I am actually reading a bunch of books I want to read. I'm nearly at 900 books on my to-read list.

I read:
My book club books were:
I'm currently reading
  • Lemon Meringue Pie by Joanne Fluke
  • The True Story of Hansel & Gretel by Louise Murphy (book club pick)

I've actually loved all the books I've read, especially the murder mystery books, which is a new genre for me. My book club books were ones I normally wouldn't read and they turned out to be great. I'm really excited to get in a reading frenzy in 2012! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Books or Bust #2

Waiting on forwarded mail stinks! I'm impatiently awaiting some things right now and also very excited about the idea of perhaps getting books for Christmas :)

This week, I received Casserole Queens {via} winning a giveaway at A Well-Seasoned Life!

And {via} Kindle...
All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

All These Things I've Done ~ Gabrielle Zevin
Anna Dressed in Blood ~ Kendare Blake

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blueberry Muffin Murder

Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen #3)

384 pages (Ebook)
Published 1 March 2002

Preparations are underway for Lake Eden, Minnesota's annual Winter Carnival - and Hannah Swensen is set to bake up a storm at her popular shop, The Cookie Jar. Too bad the honour of creating the official Winter Carnival cake went to famous lifestyle maven Connie Mac - a half-baked idea, in Hannah's opinion. She suspects Connie Mac is a lot like the confections she whips up on her cable TV cooking show - sweet, light, and scrumptious-looking, but likely to leave a bitter taste in your mouth.Hannah's suspicions are confirmed when Connie Mac's limo rolls into town. Turns out America's 'cooking sweetheart' is a bossy, bad-tempered, and downright domineering. Things finally boil over when Hannah arrives at The Cookie Jar to find the Winter Carnival cake burnt to a crisp - and Connie Mac lying dead in her pantry, struck down while eating one of Hannah's famous blueberry muffins.Next thing Hannah knows, the police have declared The Cookie Jar's kitchen crime scene off-limits. She's a baker without an oven - and the Carnival is right around the corner. Hannah's only alternative is to cook up a plan to save her business - by finding the killer herself

My Thoughts
I'm not sure if it's the character development with each story, but I definitely loved this one more than the last one. I'm still loving the competition between Mike & Norman. I'm rooting for Norman though - there are times I like Mike, but Norman seems like the right choice. I love how Fluke is able to hold out and keep you guessing until the very end. She's a brilliant author.

Also...I love Moishe. Have I mentioned that before? Yes? I LOVE MOISHE!

Recipes in this book include: Best Blueberry Muffins, Grilled Cream Cheese Sandwiches, Lisa's White Chocolate Supremes, Little Snowballs, Multiple-Choice Bar Cookies, Short Stack Cookies, Twin Chocolate Delights, and Peanut Butter Melts.

Previous Review
Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swenson #2) by Joanne Fluke [here]

Currently Reading
Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swenson #4) by Joanne Fluke

Monday, December 5, 2011

Books or Bust #1

So I've been seeing this for a couple months...I've been seeing it a lot more since I started following a bunch of book blogs. I know I'm not primarily book blogging...in fact, I'm slacking in the reading department...unless you include how I finished a book yesterday and got 15% through another within a couple hours. I'm actually looking forward to the long road trip this Friday night - Upstate NY to East TN :)

I've decided to do a weekly round up of books that have come into my possession :)

So last week, I bought...
 The Demon King (Seven Realms, #1)Good Eats 3: The Later YearsWhere the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and DrawingsClockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Good Eats 3 by Alton Brown
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

On my Kindle...
 11/22/6313 to Life (13 to Life #1)
11/22/63 by Stephen King
13 to Life by Shannon Delany

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Murder

Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Series #2)

#2 in series
320 Pages
Published 1 March 2001

The stakes start rising faster than dough when a judge from the Hartland Flour company's Dessert Bake-Off is found dead in Hannah Swensen's strawberry shortcake. Can she catch the killer before he or she cooks up another recipe -- for murder?

My Thoughts:
This installment in the Hannah Swenson murder mystery books was very good. I liked it more than the first book, for sure, and I cannot wait to make the recipes out of it!

I think the murder itself was a good mystery, although I figured out whodunit before Hannah did. I love how Fluke put Norman and Mike in the same place and put them up against each other. I liked how Andrea was "needed" in this book and we got to see the sisters get closer. And Moishe...gahh how I love me some Moishe. I wish there were movies or a tv series made out of these books. I love them.

Recipes include: Apricot Bread Pudding, Chocolate Highlander Bars, Fiesta Dip Platter, Hawaiian Flan, Molasses Crinkles, Oatmeal Raisin Crisps, and Strawberry Shortcake

Previous Review: The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain [here]

Currently Reading: Blueberry Muffin Murder (#3) by Joanne Fluke