Friday, September 30, 2011

September 2011 Wrap-Up

I feel compelled and inspired to do a little blog wrap-up. I cannot believe it's the last day of September. I'm not complaining in the least bit. In October, my husband returns after being gone for a year. It's HALLOWEEN TIME!!! EEEE! My favorite holiday :)

Amazing things that have happened this month:
  • My degree came in the mail and I found out that I graduated with honors
  • I turned 23 :) And I was treated to lunch by my friend Heidi and got to meet her bf Chris the same day! AND my husband surprised me with a phone call after not talking to him at all for over a week.
  • My transcript came in and my graduating GPA was a 3.98 (higher than high school's 3.975)
  • I got into Pottermore!! I'm a Hufflepuff ~ LightDawn67
  • I joined a fall reading challenge [list here]
  • I watched my first debate and got much more involved in the political world [thanks Angela!]
Books I reviewed this month:
Other cool things:

Despite everything in my house trying to fall apart, break, explode, implode, etc. and lack of any communication with my husband (*sniffles*) - September has been a good month. It was merciful and went by quickly. Goodbye, September and helllllooooo, October :)

Boob Tube Babble

Boob Tube Babble

I have my DVR back in full force and I'm recovering alright from losing all the shows I had saved for a year to watch with my husband. I ended up opting to get around-home DVR, meaning I can now watch my DVR'd shows in my bedroom! YAY!
This week I watched: Family Guy, American Dad, Sister Wives, Pan Am, Kendra, 2 Broke Girls, Ringer, Glee, New Girl, Tosh.0, Up All Night, Free Agents, Secret Circle, and Whitney. I'm saving Big Bang Theory, Fringe and Vampire Diaries to watch later.

My Thoughts:
Sister Wives: I really dislike Robin. They really need to get Hunter into a therapist. Why isn't that an option? Christine used to be my favorite, but she's starting to get on my nerves.

Pan Am: The first episode really confused me. They introduced a lot of characters and storylines all at once. Overall, I did like it and will continue to watch it. I just hope that the plot becomes a little more clear.

2 Broke Girls: This comedy is so forced. It's uncomfortable. Next Monday is its last chance for me. If it's still awful, bye bye.

Ringer: Oh my goodness! It just keeps getting more and more tangled in the web of lies and deception! I love it!

Glee: What in the hell are they doing to this storyline and why are the butchering Quinn's character? :(

Secret Circle: I need to read these books ASAP. I love this show.

Whitney: This week's episode was so adorable. It made me miss my husband a lot!

I watch entirely too much television :P

More Upcoming Shows
Dexter - Sunday, Oct 2 on Showtime
Pretend Time - Wednesday, Oct 5 on Comedy Central
Psych - Wednesday, Oct 12 @ 10pm on USA
Walking Dead - Sunday, Oct 16 on AMC
Grimm - Friday, Oct 21 @ 9pm on NBC
Next Iron Chef - Oct 30 on Food Network
The Exes - Wednesday, Nov 30 on TVLand
Are You There Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea - NBC this fall

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm a Hooker.

I know, I know...shame on me.
How could you be a hooker, Sarah? What would ever possess you to do something like that?

Well...
I'm here to tell you...I LOVE BEING A HOOKER. It's fun and it makes me happy.

But really...I am a hooker.
See?

Hehehe. I love crocheting. My grandma was a cross-stitcher and she had little starter circles and patterns for me when I was little so I could cross-stitch with her. My mom and grandma both had afghans galore in their houses. My grandma would tell me about her mother knitting and crocheting and how she never got the hang of it. When I was in middle school, one of my friends' mom taught us how to do a simple crochet stitch and that was the beginning of my love. I didn't crochet for years until my first baby was born and I wanted to pick it back up again. I did and it was easy for me to just jump back in...

This was my first finished project. Mind you, I did not learn how to change between thingies of yarn OR how to do a proper turn around... the bottom is much wider than the top. hahaha. I now use this for the cat's crate.

Then I started my next project. I wanted to make my husband a blanket. I shipped it to him to Iraq for Christmas and I'm very proud of it.
 I didn't use an actual pattern...I made up my own going off of the zig-zag "pattern"

And now I've been working on a blanket for my son...for like 2 years. LOL. I slacked majorly at crocheting for a long time...but now I'm back at it again.

I started back in like March 2010...
I started working on it again in June.

I think I could finish it by Christmas...maybe :D

I'm looking for plenty of new things to crochet. I've been collecting free patterns as well as patterns from places like RAKJ Patterns on Etsy. I'm also a crochet pinning maniac. Check out all these cute things...


I want to learn how to do these stitches!



Star Stitch

Source: freevintagecrochet.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Wave Stitch

Source: domihobby.ru via Sarah on Pinterest

Broomstick Lace Stitch

Source: crochetspot.com via Sarah on Pinterest


And I am currently obsessed with Granny Square blankets. I think my next project will be a shades of purple Granny Square blanket with grey outline/attaching yarn...

Source: flickr.com via Sarah on Pinterest


Source: elo7.com.br via Sarah on Pinterest


Source: zooivlooi.blogspot.com via Sarah on Pinterest


And these other projects I've been eyeing...

Source: innerhooker.bigcartel.com via Sarah on Pinterest


Source: iammommahearmeroar.blogspot.com via Sarah on Pinterest


Source: make-handmade.com via Sarah on Pinterest


Source: etsy.com via Sarah on Pinterest


Now I guess it's time for me to get back to hooking :)

Source: obeycrochet.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FIR '11: Reading Question #1



If you haven't seen my list...please go check it out: HERE.

Today and every Wednesday, Katrina will be asking a question about reading in correlation with the Fall Into Reading challenge :)

Today's question:
How much do book reviews influence your decision to acquire and/or read a book?

I'm a really stubborn person by nature, so when I see someone review a book that I think looks/sounds interesting...I almost take it as a challenge. I think the only way reviews really affect me is if I am on the line about the synopsis and want to know if the book is worth my time. Most of my influence is from synopses. If I am unsure whether it sounds good or not, I will go to reviews.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun With Our Phone & Busy Work


Walking to the mailbox :)

Pretty little thang! I had to cut her bangs

I think it's pretty funny that the first thing that we recorded on our new cable box (the last one died on Thurs) was Pokemon. haha

Today was 80 and gorgeous here in NY. The trees are all changing colors and ahh!

We stopped at BK for lunch. Yum.

Matt got a haircut on Saturday. Looks so handsome :)

I'm hoping this week will fly by for me. I'm going to try to keep to a schedule. We'll see how that goes. haha.

Here's the plan:
Monday
Grocery shop, clean master bedroom, dishes, vacuum, swiffer, get everything out for the bulk pick up (good thing today is supposed to be 80 degrees), send package to Angie and Jessi
Tuesday
Bulk pick up day, garbage day, dishes, vacuum, swiffer, clean oven
Wednesday
Wash towels & sheets, dishes, vacuum, swiffer
Thursday
Kids' laundry, vacuum downstairs, dishes, vacuum (upstairs), swiffer
Friday
My laundry, dishes, vacuum, swiffer, collect garbage throughout the house, make a run to Walmart for sign supplies and food for beginning of week - maybe knitting/crocheting stuff
Saturday
Bathrooms (scrub bathtubs), dust, dishes, vacuum, swiffer, make cookies, clean fridge
Sunday
Bills/papers, declutter, dishes, vacuum, swiffer (dry/wet), make cake balls, clean pantry


In addition to all that, I have 4 extra recipes to make...ideas for blog posts throughout the week...and reading and crocheting to do! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Into Reading 2011

So Kristen over at The Book Monsters mentioned Fall Into Reading 2011 today and I had to check it out. I love book challenges! This specific one is hosted by Callipidder Days and runs from Sept 23 to Dec 21. All you need to do is make a list of books you want to read this fall, link up and get to reading :) Not to mention, there will be prizes and giveaways throughout this time!

So here is my list of books:
  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#1) ~ Finished 10 Nov
  2. Strawberry Shortcake Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#2) ~ Finished 4 Dec
  3. Blueberry Muffin Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#3) ~ Finished 9 Dec
  4. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#4)
  5. Fudge Cupcake Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#5)
  6. Sugar Cookie Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#6)
  7. Peach Cobbler Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#7)
  8. Cherry Cheesecake Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#8)
  9. Key Lime Pie Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#9)
  10. Carrot Cake Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#10)
  11. Cream Puff Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#11)
  12. Plum Pudding Murder ~ Joanne Fluke (#12)
  13. Candy Cake Murder ~ Joanne Fluke
  14. 13 to Life ~ Shannon Delany (#1)
  15. As I Wake ~ Elizabeth Scott
  16. The Awakening ~ L.J. Smith (#1)
  17. Bossypants ~ Tina Fey ~ Finished 18 Nov
  18. The Help ~ Kathryn Stockett
  19. The Host ~ Stephenie Meyer
  20. Lost in Shangri-La ~ Michael Zuckoff
I don't really have a particular order for these, but I do like to read series at a time. I don't really like skipping in between series. :) I started the Hannah Swenson series a few days ago so that's "first" on my list...and they include RECIPES in the books *swoon*

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

I've been in a very non-reading mood lately :( But so far, it is a great book! And it is set in Minnesota - w00t.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Boob Tube Babble

 Boob Tube Babble
So my cable box decided to be super awesome and it died last night. I had just put the kids in bed and was hoping to watch Big Bang Theory or perhaps The Daily Show or Chelsea Lately from last night...and I heard it making this obnoxious clicking noise. So I turned it off...the noise continued. So I unplugged it. I turn it back on and wait for it to boot so I can at least catch the 2nd Big Bang Theory episode and record it...so I go to my DVR to see if I got a partial recording of the first episode and ALL OF MY SHOWS ARE GONE. Everything I recorded. Mind you, I've been saving shows for a year to watch with my husband who will be home from the Stan in less than 2 weeks. *cries* It wouldn't let me record anything and all my scheduled recordings were gone. It wouldn't even let me pause or rewind live tv :( I ran to the nearest office this morning and got a new box. Lucky for me, they are also now offering a 25% discount to people living on military bases so our bill went from $175 to $112...and they said I could get around-home DVR for $8 a month (setting it up next Tuesday)...meaning I can watch my DVR'd shows in my bedroom! *swoon*

Today I wanted to talk about some new shows...isn't everyone doing that? :) I have to jump on that bandwagon.

When I saw the promos for this, I knew immediately it was going to be an amazing show. I am not disappointed at all. Christina Applegate - I've always been a fan. She's so funny! Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph are amazing too! :)

I am loving this. It's probably not my typical genre of show and it's kind of a little cheesy, but it keeps me on the edge of my seat and I do adore Sarah Michelle Gellar! This week's episode ended and I literally said out loud, "What the fuck?" ~ it's such a thriller/mystery/mind-boggling show!

I really thought that this was going to be overly cheesy and unwatchable, much like other CW programming and ABC Family too. I found myself liking it a lot though. I've always been a big fan of anything vampire, lycanthrope, witch, fae, etc. and I felt like the first episode was so short (and I missed last night's because of said-DVR incident). I wanted more! So I'm definitely going to continue watching ~ very interesting story line and I guess I should have realized this...but it's based on a book series :) Oh and the "bad girl" - so cliche. *rolls eyes*

and...
What can I say that can describe how epic this show is?  Seriously? I can't. It's so amazing and perfect. Zooey Deschanel can do no wrong. I was laughing obnoxiously the whole time! Like especially when she was told to hide those crazy feelings in a cave so no one could find them and she said "Except for Smeagal" OMG. And the douchebag jar! And the Wayans brother...you got to have a Wayans brother :) I love it. New Girl is definitely my favorite.

I also watched Glee, Tosh.0, Free Agents, and 2 Broke Girls this week. I attempted to watch X Factor, but it was annoying! SO ANNOYING. I'm hoping to catch BBT, Whitney and Prime Suspect next week! :)

Oh and I cancelled my recordings (before my cable box died) of Teen Mom and the Talk. I can't watch them anymore. Teen Mom is boring and ridiculous - I'm sick of them bitching about how awful they have it. Girls, I got pregnant at 17 and had 2 kids by 19. It's NOT that hard. It really isn't. I did my college with 2 toddlers and a deployed husband and graduated with honors.

More Upcoming Shows
Fringe - Friday, Sept 23 @ 9pm on Fox
Family Guy - Sunday, Sept 25 @ 8pm on Fox
Sister Wives - Sunday, Sept 25 @ 9pm on TLC
Pan Am - Sunday, Sept 25 @ 10pm on ABC
Kendra - Sunday, Sept 25 @ 11pm on E!
Dexter - Sunday, Oct 2 on HBO
Pretend Time - Wednesday, Oct 5 on Comedy Central
Psych - Wednesday, Oct 12 @ 10pm on USA
Walking Dead - Sunday, Oct 16 on AMC
Grimm - Friday, Oct 21 @ 9pm on NBC
Next Iron Chef - Oct 30 on Food Network
The Exes - Wednesday, Nov 30 on TVLand
Are You There Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea - NBC this fall

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fun With Our Phones - 9.19


This keeps coming later and later each Monday :P
Here's what I got on my phone this week:

Last Thurs, at the car shop - Matthew rocked and played the guitar behind his head. 

While I read Harry Potter...(Cami was diggin' in that little bucket for more toys)

I got pretty peeved when after test driving my car, it returned very dirty *eye twitch*

I seriously love my little mau.

The kids' shirts and our DEPLOYMENT SUCKS flair :)



On my birthday - it was cold, but pretty. The company (where hubby works) was all desolate and lonely. I can't wait til it's busy again! We volunteered to help make beds in the single soldiers' barracks. Then we went to Friendly's for lunch with my friend Heidi and her bf Chris :)

Got a pumpkin spice latte after shopping at Target...this was my birthday cake. LOL

*PHEW*

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [Review]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Stats:
#7 in series
759 pages
Published 21 July 2007

Synopsis:
Begun a decade ago and encompassing six shelf-bending novels, the seventh and concluding volume of the international literary phenomenon that is the Harry Potter saga comes to a bombshell-packed -- and oh so satisfying -- conclusion in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, arguably the most wildly anticipated release in modern publishing history.

As the novel begins, Harry, Ron and Hermione are on the run from Lord Voldemort, whose minions of Death Eaters have not only taken control of the Minister of Magic but have begun to systematically -- and forcibly -- change the entire culture of the magic community: Muggle-born wizards, for example, are being rounded up and questioned, and all "blood traitors" are being imprisoned. But as Voldemort and his followers ruthlessly pursue the fugitive with the lightning bolt scar on his forehead, Potter finally uncovers the jaw-dropping truth
of his existence...

My Thoughts:
I think this was a really good ending to the whole series. I think this installment is my 2nd favorite. (3rd is my most favorite)

I really like how Rowling gave an extra chapter to really close up the series cleanly.

I like how she redeemed two headmasters too. :)

Previous read:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (HP #6) by JK Rowling [here]

Next read:
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard


11 months.

1. Find stuff to do in the surrounding area that we haven't done before. EXPLORE. We need to start going to the library on Fridays. I have ideas to go to the Burrville Cider Mill and Old McDonald's Farm again.

2. Regularly exercise. I fail at this so hard! I'm lazy. I am probably going to just wait until Nick gets home. He will motivate me. LOL

3. Drink more water. No soda. Been doing well here.

4. KEEP my cleaning schedule. I NEED TO DO THE KITCHEN. I can keep up with pretty much everything but the kitchen.

5. Find a place to get rid of the junk in the garage [the broken appliances]. Bulk pick up is soon and I just need to find out where to dump electronics. I'll definitely need help with that though.

6. Read 50 books and watch all the movies I have. I have done 35/50 :) I keep getting more movies...that's okay though.

7. Stop cursing so much. I think I'm doing better?

8. Take the car for regular car washes and vacuum at least once a month. Done well with this.

9. Make a recipe bucket list. I want to make a 100 in 1001 list for my food blog. ASAP!

10. Start to get rid of the baby stuff in the basement.
Yard sale and one of my besties have this one marked off.

11. Make a 100 in 1001 list. Still need to do this.

12. Write up a new budget. Keep better track of money. I have stuff printed out to organize finances and budget stuff, so I need to do it!
 
13. Get everything fixed in the house - the garbage disposal is all I have left.

14. Research Le Cordon Bleu school in St. Louis.

15. Deweed garden and plant vegetables and flowers that I purchased. It's pretty much too late for this as we got our first frost 2 days ago.

16. Start getting the house really organized and running smoothly for when Nick gets home. I am running out of time! I am doing as much as possible. I really need to stick to my cleaning schedule and start exercising and I will be fine by the time it rolls around to pick him up :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Kitchen Giveaway

It's here!!!! Today on Amber's birthday extravaganza is my giveaway of a crockpot and cookbook! :3 Go check it out!
My Three Bittles

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince [Review]

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



Stats:
#6 in series
652 pages
Published 16 July 2005

Synopsis:
The war against Voldemort is not going well; even Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet . . .

As in all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate — and lose a few eyebrows in the process. The Weasley twins expand their business. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince.

So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here are Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort — and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.


My Thoughts:
I read this one when it came out but didn't remember any of it really. Except the big huge thing that happened in the book. Even if it's fiction, it's like dementors are surrounding me or something...like I'll never feel happiness again. Rowling has amazing talent to evoke readers to be so immersed in the story to cry (like I did during the 5th book) and feel as if you'll never be happy again (like with this one).

I also feel like this book was a "in-between" book. It doesn't feel like a whole book. There was no meeting with Voldemort at the end of the book and fighting him like the rest of the books. Most of the book was spent with many plots and questions and that all ended pretty swiftly in the last few chapters. That's why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.

I also get curious about Rowling's writing process. Did she know all along what she would do with each book or did she do them one by one, tying in different storylines like puzzle pieces?

Previous Book: 
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (HP #5) by JK Rowling [review]

Next Book: 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (HP #7) by JK Rowling