Friday, November 30, 2012

November in Review

You can find October's review: here!
Oh November. It always seems to fly by, doesn't it? One minute it's Halloween and then Thanksgiving is already gone. We got our first snow of the year the day after Thanksgiving. Hopefully we'll not have a bad winter because I'm terrified we will. Ick. It's been snowing off and on all last week and then yesterday it rained. It's cold this morning - 11* feels like -2*

So here's what I've been up to..

  1. I shared my TBR List for November. There are few leftover books from the last few months that I hope to take care of really soon. Thankfully in January there is another readathon!
  2. I did my nails. I still adore doing The Nail Files. #44, #45, #46, #47, #48
  3. I've been reviewing a few movies here and there: Rock of Ages & Mirror Mirror and The Campaign.
  4. The Pinspiration Project Queen for October was announced. Check out Emily's winning project: here
  5. Speaking of TPP, there have been some awesome projects over the last month. You can find them all here: Week #13, Week #14, and Week #15.
  6. I've also been doing a lot of TV Talk lately: Vampire Diaries & Nashville and Ice Loves Coco & Malibu Country.
  7. Check out the most clicked TPP projects: Week #13, Week #14, Week #15
  8. There were also the most clicked from The Pinspiration Project: Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12.
  9. I wrote a big ole long post about some drama that I've dealt with from a "family" member. 
  10. Meet a few of my November sponsors: Tyler, Lauren, and Jessica
  11. I talked about hating my name and y'all gave some amazing feedback. Thank you :)
  12. I bit the bullet and got on board with BlogLovin' - so far, I'm really loving it. It's an amazing tool - so much easier than a billion emails and Google reader. Follow Fortune Favors here.
  13. I read 9 books this month which is 4 more than last month and I'm hoping to continue to increase that amount after Christmas vacation, that is.
What I reviewed:
  • Seven X by Mike Wech [here]
  • Night School by Michelle Cornwell-Jordan [here]
  • Chosen by PC Cast [here]
  • Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich [here]
  • Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke [here]
  • Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick [here]
Some progress on my "resolutions":
  • Eat more fruit - I got back into eating yogurt a lot, so more than last month. Hopefully I can finish off strong.
  • Get organized - I did a lot better in November with organization - I think it's because I basically had no choice. I had so much going on in November that I had to be organized unless I wanted everything to fall apart.
  • Stay on schedule (I'm hoping to manage my time better) - choice. Done!
  • Read A LOT - It's definitely picked up.
  • Keep track of finances and save lots of money - Got a hold of the dealership and they are going to get our title to us *phew* Other than's a waiting game.
  • Start exercising again. - I think I may start to do Wii stuff again because I played Just Dance with friends on Thanksgiving for a few hours and the next few days I spent whining about how sore I was. lol.
  • Get involved in Matthew's school - I am still not there yet.
  • Do some fun girly, crafty stuff with Cami. - Need to do this too.
  • Master the art of being a school-age kid mom. Try to balance everything. - Did a lot better in November.

Nail Files #48

Julep Claire

I typically do not wear blues. This is the second color I wore out of my first Julep box and I seriously love it. It's definitely one of my new favorite colors in my nail polish collection. 
Such a pretty pop of color!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ashes [Review]

#1 in Ashes Trilogy
480 Pages [Kindle]
Published 6 September 2011
Find on Goodreads

Alex has run away and is hiking through the wilderness with her dead parents’ ashes, about to say goodbye to the life she no longer wants to live. But then the world suddenly changes. An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky zapping every electronic device and killing the vast majority of adults. For those spared, it’s a question of who can be trusted and who has changed... Everyone still alive has turned - some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh).

Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the zombies that are on the hunt, Alex meets up with Tom - an Army veteran who escaped one war only to find something worse at home - and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse. This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to find food, shelter, while fighting off the “Changed” and those desperate to stay alive. A tense and involving adventure with shocks and sudden plot twists that will keep teen and adult readers gripped.

My Thoughts:
I hadn't really heard much hype about Ashes, but I had it on my TBR list for a while and then got approved for the second book in the series on NetGalley - so I decided it was about time I read it.

I really enjoyed the whole book. It kept my attention the whole time - which is getting harder and harder for me for most books nowadays.

The premise is that Alex, an orphan teen with a brain tumor, finds herself in a zombie-like apocalypse situation after a EMP was released while she was in the middle of a hiking/camping trip. She finds two companions along the way to finding out what happened and finding other people who may know what happened: Ellie, an 8 year old girl, who was with her grandfather and had ran into Alex before the EMP occurred, and Tom, a 20-something year old soldier on leave, who saves them from a couple of "The Changed". From what they can tell, the younger people are the ones changing, many people just died when the EMP was released, and they are unsure why some are "Spared" like Alex and Tom.

The Changed, or Chuckies as they are later called, are like zombies, but not in the traditional undead, mindless, hangry way. These zombies are smart. They form packs, communicate with each other, use weapons, etc. They are also inhumanely strong and fast. There is no virus - which is an interesting take. People change based on brain chemistry or hormones - from the characters' best educated guess.

I highly recommend this one for all zombie lovers out there. Throw in a little cult-like storyline, a militia forming, plus all kinds of other crazy events - and you have this amazing book.

Previous Review:
Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke [here]

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here]

Linked up at...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name.

If you have read my about me, you know I hate my name: Sarah.

When I was younger, I wasn't fond of it. But I absolutely hated my middle name (Jane), so I wasn't going to go by it. When I got to be about 9 or 10, I had read and seen the movie of The Face on the Milk Carton. The main character is a girl named Janie. I thought about going by Janie for a while, but never grew a set of balls enough to change it over.

When I moved to Tennessee, I was going to get a fresh start - and again, I thought about going by Janie. But then I didn't. Totally copped out.

Now that I'm an adult, I'm still bothered by my first name. I have gotten to the point now where I cringe when someone calls me by my name.

My grandma actually goes by her middle name - which is Jane. I guess she hated her first name too (it's not Sarah). I recently asked my mom when my grandma started going by Jane and she wasn't sure. She had gone by Jane my mom's whole life. I talked to her about going by a nickname of my middle name and she didn't seem too phased by it. She said she always hated Kathleen and that's why she goes by Kathy. So...

Now I'm like...

When do I start going by Janie? I think if I even do go by a different name, it'll have to wait until we move and my husband gets out of the army here in a couple years. That way all the new people in our lives can just meet me as Janie or whatever. Because I think people would be like WTF..if all of a sudden I'm like call me a different name. LOL

I'm still not sure...

So my question to you all is - how many of you go by nicknames/variations of your first or middle name? When did you start going by that? How did that transition go?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nail Files #47

Julep Lucy

Lucy is this rich, deep burgundy red. This is my first experience with Julep, so...
I think that the application was smooth and even, although the brush is a little thin for my tastes. 
2 coats did just fine. It chips, but not badly enough to where I wouldn't wear Julep. It's what I would call normal chipping. This was in my first Julep Maven Box - Boho Glam.


I love these claws! So creative :)

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Pretty flowers from Jennie

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

I like this take on diagonals - very classy.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Peach Cobbler Murder [Review]

#7 in Hannah Swensen Series
384 pages [Kindle]
Published 1 March 2005

With The Cookie Jar, Hannah Swensen has a mouthwatering monopoly on the bakery business of Lake Eden, Minnesota. But when a rival store opens, tensions begin to bubble...

As she sits in her nearly empty store on Groundhog Day, Hannah can only hope that spring is just around the corner-and that the popularity of the new Magnolia Blossom Bakery is just a passing fad. The southern hospitality of Lake Eden's two Georgia transplants, Shawna Lee and Vanessa Quinn, is grating on Hannah's nerves-and cutting into her profits.

At least Hannah has her business partner Lisa's wedding to look forward to. Unfortunately, Shawna Lee has finagled an invitation to the reception-and is bringing her Southern Peach Cobbler for the dessert table. Things go from bad to worse when Shawna Lee and Hannah's sometime-boyfriend, Detective Mike Kingston, are no-shows to the wedding. When Hannah sees lights on at the Magnolia Blossom Bakery after the reception, she investigates-and finds Shawna Lee shot to death.

Everyone in town knew the Cookie Jar's business was suffering-a fact that puts Hannah at the top of the initial list of suspects. But with a little help from her friends, Hannah's determined to track down whoever had the right ingredients to whip up a murder.

My Thoughts:
I hadn't read a Hannah Swensen book in a few months. I've been slipping into a reading rut for the last few months as well. Not that I haven't read some great books, I've just been struggling to pick up and actually read. I get into bed at night and barely get through a paragraph before I fall asleep, book in hand. So while my husband visited family in Tennessee for a week, I had no adult interaction or company and I read my little heart out. I got through this surprisingly fast and have to admit, I still love love love Lake Eden and the community. I love Hannah still, even though I want to smack her for still trying to justify anything Mike does - PICK NORMAN ALREADY! #TeamNorman This one was definitely an interesting one. I think much more dramatic than the others to date. And Hannah got to be a suspect. I feel bad for her momma though :( But kind of glad too. No spoilers there.

Recipes in this book include: Aunt Kitty’s Jamaican Rum Balls, Chocolate Almond Toast, Chocolate Overload Cookie Bars, Desperation Cookies, Doll Face Cookies, Fake Orange Julius, German Chocolate Cake Cookies, Minnesota Peach Cobbler, Rhubarb Custard Cake, Strawberry Custard Squares, Strawberry Flip Cookies, Trudy's Shrimp Bisque, and Wedding Cake.

Previous Review:
Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich [here]

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here]

Linked up at...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Campaign

Source: via Joshua on Pinterest
I have been wanting to see The Campaign for sooooooooo long. I was happy to finally get the chance to sit down and watch it last weekend. I am a huge Will Ferrell fan. I love pretty much everything he has been in (we'll not discuss Semi-Pro, okay?). I was still on the fence about Galifianakis before I saw the movie, but now I'm totally a fan.

The previews and trailers were hilarious. I was so excited. I always forget that Ferrell movies are much more vulgar (not bad vulgar, just more vulgar than shown in the commercials) than what we see in those few clips. Again...I have nothing against it...I think it's hilarious. I laughed my ass off the whole way through this movie. Ferrell and Galifianakis did an amazing job.

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Source: via Stephanie on Pinterest

A few weeks ago, I gave my opinion on Rock of Ages and Mirror Mirror, in case you are wondering what those movies are like :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Nail Files #46

I bit the bullet and signed up to the Julep Maven program. I've never tried Julep nail polish before and was excited to have a complete surprise show up at my doorstep. I got my first box around Halloween. It contained 5 nail polishes - and 2 glitter pots. I have the Boho Glam one. :)

The packaging is so cute!

L to R: Sasha, Lucy, Chelsea, Claire, and Rose.

I'm kind of terrified to try these. LOL


Next year for Halloween?

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

This would be super cute in the spring!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

DIY Nail Polish from one of my October sponsors - Autumn of The Busy Bee

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TV Talk: Ice Loves Coco and Malibu Country

Last Wednesday, it was all about Nashville and The Vampire Diaries...

Today it's all about Ice Loves Coco and Malibu Country.

I've already mentioned that I have such a guilty pleasure watching some reality tv shows that most people make fun of or would think that someone who watches them has a brain the size of a pea. The Kardashians are one of those shows...and Ice Loves Coco is the other.

Source: via Natalie on Pinterest

I love love love Coco. I judged her on her looks and then watched the show and felt so bad for it. She's the biggest sweetheart and she's a superwoman! Ice is hilarious and I love their relationship. It airs Sundays at 10pm EST on E!

Source: via Keldon on Pinterest

Malibu Country is Reba's new show that airs on Fridays at 8:30pm EST on ABC. In all honesty, it's pretty similar to her show Reba in a lot of ways. However, I am and always will be a huge Reba fan - I loved the show Reba and often watch reruns, so I had no problem at all taking in the newer premise of Malibu Country.

Source: via Diane on Pinterest

I've only seen episode one, but Reba takes her two kids and mom from Nashville to one of her now or becoming-ex husband's secret houses - I say secret because apparently he had secret houses in addition to mistresses. They are struggling to settle into the new and different place. Their neighbor is much like Barbra Jean from Reba and is played by Sara Rue (who is hilarious). The grandma is played by Lily Tomlin - and I think may end up being my favorite character. So...if you are a fan of Reba and her original show, you'll like Malibu Country. It's a little past its time, but still good.

Source: via TV on Pinterest
Do y'all watch Ice Loves Coco or Malibu Country?
What do you think of them?
Upcoming Shows:
Weds, Nov 14: Whitney at 8pm on NBC
Weds, Nov 28: Hot in Cleveland at 10pm on TVLand
Weds, Nov 28: Happily Divorced at 10:30pm on TVLand

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nail Files #45

Sinful Colors 24/7 with OPI Teal Crackle.

My friend Melissa shared a cute mani a few weeks ago using this super bright pink! And I happened to see it at the store - so...totally bought it. It was such an obnoxiously fun mani :)
Just look at that pink!


Fruit Stripe Nails :)

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

I love this Orly Prelude to a Kiss

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

This fishtail accent nail is beyond adorable!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Night School & Chosen [Review]

I have two reviews for y'all today :)

**3 1/2 stars**

#1 in Vampire Hunter Trilogy
62 Pages [Kindle]
Published 19 March 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TV Talk: Nashville and The Vampire Diaries

Time for some more TV Talk :) Woo! I actually really love doing this. It's something kind of fluffy to talk about when I'm having a boring week. Last time, I talked about a bunch of tv shows, including The Mindy Project and Modern Family. This time, it's all about Nashville and The Vampire Diaries.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rock of Ages & Mirror Mirror

A few weeks ago, it was Prometheus & Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies...

Today, it's Rock of Ages & Mirror Mirror. I also was going to add The Informant! in here too, but it was so horrible that I gave up after 10 minutes.

Source: via Bailahmos on Pinterest

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nail Files #44

Essie's Cute as a Button
I wish this was a more accurate picture of the color. Cute is really fitting - because it is cute. I signed up for the Julep Maven program, so hopefully in the next few weeks, I will blog about it. I got my box on Weds :)


Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest