Saturday, June 30, 2012

June in Review

You can find May's review: here!

Right now, I'm hoping to be halfway to Tennessee, but I may even be further. But that doesn't stop me from scheduling this bombtastic wrap up post for June :)


So here's what has been going on:
  1. I participated in Nail Files :) It's one of my favorite link ups. I love seeing everyone's nails each week and getting inspired! Week #22, Week #23, Week #24, Week #25, Week #26
  2. Books or Bust - my own take on sharing books I have bought - has slowed down a bit. I put myself on a book ban. I have 1900 books on my to-read list. I'm sure I have a least 200 books on hand that need to be read that are part of that 1900 books. I need to read first, buy later! BoB#10,
  3. I shared a hair color/cut timeline and revealed my new hair. Although now my hair is a different color. Apparently the hair gods had other plans in store for me and decided I cannot be a ginger :'(
  4. I also did a few Top Ten Tuesdays this month. Rewind, TTT #10
  5. My favoritest link up: Oh, How Pinteresting Weds. - still going strong with that one. I'm over 9000 pins now. Go me!
  6. We climbed a mountain. I shared pics.
  7. I linked up with Jenn over at Perfectly Imperfect for another installment of Currently.
  8. I tried to get a cute picture of my kids. Tried, being the key word.
  9. I did another readathon! Wicked Wildfire Readathon. My goals, a challenge.
  10. And, of course, I read and read and read and read...and then blogged about it :) I finished a metric shitton (this is an accurate measurement, btw) of books this month. THIRTEEN.
What I reviewed:
  • Escaping Titanic by Marybeth Lorbecki {here}
  • House of Night: Legacy by PC Cast {here}
  • The Infects by Sean Beaudoin {here}
  • Titanic: The Long Night by Diane Hoh {here}
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Promise: Volume 1 {here}
  • The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker {here}
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James {here}
  • The Glimpse by Claire Merle {here}
  • Game of Thrones by George R.R Martin {here}
  • Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep {here}
  • Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep {here}
  • Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep {here}
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner {here}

Some progress on my "resolutions":
  • Eat more fruit - I made smoothies, milkshakes, alcoholic smoothies, and fruit nachos. I'm really pleased with how I did in June for eating more fruit.
  • Drink more water - I think I can finally cross this one off my list. I drink way more water than I used to and it's my go-to drink!
  • Get organized - When we get back from vacation in mid-July I will be starting an organizing series here on the blog :)
  • Stay on schedule (I'm hoping to manage my time better) -Nick and I started doing dishes together and we got rid of our dish rack so that makes us HAVE to do dishes. I've been pretty on track lately :)
  • Read A LOT - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
  • Keep track of finances and save lots of money - This month was great!
  • I want to blog more - regular blog stuff. Just talking about whatever. Less fluff. - I think I did really well this month for less fluff. But books did take over a little.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nail Files #26

The Nail Files

I'm sharing probably my most favorite two colors I have in my arsenal: OPI's Bubble Bath and Nicole by OPI's Rainbow in the S-Kylie (Kardashian Kolor). The Bubble Bath is this really pretty, soft pink. The Rainbow in the S-Kylie is my remedy for not getting my hands on the Muppet Collection's Rainbow Connection. :)



Pinspiration Time!

I love the colors for these gradients.



Source: thatswhatwesaid.net via Sarah on Pinterest

A fellow Nail Files linker, Kristen, shared this awesome tip for organizing your nail polishes. You paint those little white dot stickers and place them on top of the corresponding nail polish!

Source: fromkristenwithlove.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Another fellow Nail Files linker, Jennie, shared 80s nails that are just plain awesome. I always look forward to her nails. They are ALWAYS awesome! :)

Source: wellshutthefrontdoor.blogspot.ca via Sarah on Pinterest

I'm about 80% sure I have this particular glitter...I love the diagonal!

Source: http://crystalscrazycombos.blogspot.com/2012/02/china-glaze-luna.html via Sarah on Pinterest

These bright colors are perfect for summer!

Source: enamelgirl.blogspot.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Love grey with the neon green!

Source: Uploaded by user via Sarah on Pinterest

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Maze Runner [Review]


Stats: 
384 pages [Kindle]
First Published 1 January 2009
ASIN: B002QE3CTY
[Amazon::Barnes&Noble]


Synopsis:
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.



My Thoughts:



It was hard for me to get into this book at first because the way it starts out is that you are right along with Thomas, the main character, who remembers nothing of his old life and is thrown into a strange place with 50 other teenage boys who know nothing of why they are where they are. So you are kind of in the dark with Thomas. It does get really intense and the book ends in a huge cliffhanger! I cannot wait to read the next one :) 

I would say this is the Hunger Games for guys :)


Previous Review:
Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep {here}


[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dark Frost [Review]


Stats: 
336 pages [Kindle]
Published 29 May 2012
ASIN:  B006YBREDU
[Amazon::Barnes&Noble]


Synopsis:
I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me?

It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.



My Thoughts:

Estep seriously blows my mind. I've read the 3 books in the series in less than 24 hours. I couldn't put them down. Dark Frost was no exception. Instead of a slow intro that gets you back into the groove with the characters, you are thrown into the middle of a gruesome Reaper attack in the museum that Gwen, Daphne, Carson, and Logan are at for a myth-history report. This is the first time that Gwen meets the Reaper Girl who murdered her mother. More is uncovered of her mom's past at the Academy through her mom's diary that she found in her grandma's attic. There is a lot of confusion about the relationship between Gwen and Logan - they are both so emotional and Gwen's powers definitely get in the way of their communication. Not to mention, an old friend shows back up to assist Gwen.

This book left me speechless, it left me crying (3 times, people!), and it definitely left me crazy excited for the 4th book, Crimson Frost. I'm ready to see where Estep goes with the story next!

Thanks to Kensington Press & NetGalley for letting me review this book!




Previous Review:

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep {here}


Linked up at...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kiss of Frost [Review]



Stats: 
385 pages [Kindle]
Published 11 November 2011
ASIN:  B005HJQI0K
[Amazon::Barnes&Noble]


Synopsis:
Logan Quinn was try­ing to kill me. My Spar­tan class­mate relent­lessly pur­sued me, swing­ing his sword at me over and over again, the shin­ing sil­ver blade inch­ing closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes prac­ti­cally glowed with the thrill of battle...

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword...



My Thoughts:

Estep just keeps it coming! This book was just as good as the first, if not better!

Kiss of Frost leaves right where Touch of Frost left off. Gwen is now taking combat lessons from Logan, although not nearly as romantic as she thought it would be. Logan seems to take no interest in her and way more than enough interest in Savannah. Daphne tries to lift Gwen's spirits and get her psyched about Winter Festival - a trip to a ritzy ski lodge where the NY Academy will be joining them. Some strange things start happening - like a mystery person shooting an arrow at her in the library and then the arrow being gone when Nickamedes asks her what's going on and an SUV trying to run her over on her way back to the academy from her grandma's house. Gwen finds herself not escaping any danger at the ski resort when the first day she runs into a Fenrir wolf. However, she does meet a mighty cute guy named Preston from the NY Academy. But he seems to be escaping the eyes of all Gwen's peers and professors.

There is so much excitement in this book - there is so much mystery in this book. I had no trouble finishing this one just as quickly as I finished the first. There are quite a few new characters like Kenzie Tanaka and Oliver Hector (briefly mentioned in the first) - two Spartan friends of Logan's. You find out that not only are there Vikings, Valkyries, Spartans, and Romans - but there are also Ninjas, Celts, and Samurais. In the myth-history class, Metis teaches the students about different monsters. You get to hear about the Fenrir wolf when Gwen gets up close and personal with one. I feel like this one was more emotional than the last one, as Gwen discovers more about her mom and her death and about the people around her.



Previous Review:
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep {here}


[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Touch of Frost [Review]


Stats: 
385 pages [Kindle]
Published 1 August 2011
ASIN:  B004SIDTM6
[Amazon::Barnes&Noble]


Synopsis:

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why —especially since I should have been the one who died. . .



My Thoughts:



Sometimes I get a little worried that I won't find anymore books to fall in love with. I have so many favorite series, favorite heroines, favorite authors...and then I read a new book and am shocked to find that my heart has more room for more book love :)

I love the way this book is written. It reads more in the main character's, Gwen Frost, voice. There's lots of slang and lots of emotion. I love this style because I feel like you can connect so much more with the character. I really liked Gwen - she is very relatable to me. I have been to a new school and felt like an outcast - I've always been a turbo nerd and never been concerned with the latest fashion or whatnot.

I've always loved anything mythology-related. I was so stoked when Estep starting throwing out gods and goddesses and powers. This book was an easy read for me. I just soaked it all up. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys gods/goddesses/mythology.

I also really loved the end of the book where Estep wrote about her inspiration - Clash of the Titans, The Iliad/The Odyssey (one of my personal favorites), and Xena. Seriously, how could this book be any more awesome?!

I am so excited to read where Estep goes with this story! Will Jasmine's family revenge her death, will Logan Quinn reveal his dirty secrets, etc!



Previous Review:
Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin {here}


[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nail Files #25

The Nail Files

I finally successfully pulled off some leopard prints! WOOO! I only attempted it as an accent nail because I'm not nearly ambitious enough to try it for all 10 nails :P I used Maybelline's Pink Shock and Urban Decay's Fame and then just a black nail polish for the outline. Oh and I used a toothpick because I have no dotting tools or anything :) I'm wearing Pure Ice Coral Reef on my toes - it's pictured next to the UD Fame.






Pinterest Inspiration!

Neon polka dot French manicure :)


Source: glittershewrote.com via Sarah on Pinterest


Homemade Shellac

Source: thesmallthingsblog.com via Sarah on Pinterest


Nautical Nails

Source: laceandlacquers.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Thursday, June 21, 2012

#WWReadathon - Slake Your Thirst challenge

Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon

This challenge is from Kimba of Kimba the Caffeinated Reviewer. We are to choose our favorite drink recipe and our favorite/most anticipated summer read :)

I'm sharing my newest favorite drink recipe! I posted this one for a cooking challenge on my food blog earlier this month.

**Blueberry Cheesecake Milkshake**


(Print)
What you need:
  • 1/2 to 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (Lauren used strawberries)
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • Whipped topping and more berries for garnish
Directions:
Puree all except garnish ingredients in a blender.
 Add milk to your desired consistency.
Top with whipped cream and berries!
Recipe adapted from Lauren's Latest


My most anticipated read for this summer is...
 **The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa**
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)

I've been putting off reading it to finish other books first, but I will be reading it in July and I'm really really really excited. I love Kagawa..and come on...it's VAMPIRES! :3

Game of Thrones [Review]

Stats: 
694 pages [Paperback]
Published 22 March 2011  [First Published in 1996]
ISBN:  0553386794
[Amazon::Barnes&Noble]



Synopsis:
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.




My Thoughts:

I hadn't heard of these until the HBO series came out. After seeing the trailer, I got my hands on the books for not only myself, but for my husband as well. He doesn't read a lot of fiction, but I knew he would love these. He just finished the 3rd book on Monday and we've both watched up to the season finale of season 2.

I watched both seasons before reading the book, but I will say that it didn't really affect my opinion of either. I think they did a really good job with the tv series and bringing Martin's books to life. I love how thorough this book is. I think it may be a bit confusing at first. It was helpful to me to have my husband explain everything while we watched. I found it 8 billion times easier when I got around to reading the first book.

I worried a bit about the changing of POVs, but it was flowed very well. Although I have to admit that I hated reading the Catelynn chapters and wasn't very fond of the Jon chapters either. I have a hard time between who is my favorite between Daenerys, Arya, and Tyrion. I absolutely despise Joffrey and Cersei.

I also keep asking my husband if Nymeria has turned back up or not, but he says no :(





Previous Review:
The Glimpse by Claire Merle {here}


[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #10

 
Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR List:
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)One For The Money (Stephanie Plum, #1)The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1)Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1)Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2)Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)Dark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3)
 
  1. The Immortal Rules: I have this from NetGalley and have badly been wanting to read it. I have yet to hear one bad word about it and I love Kagawa.
  2. One For the Money: I have literally been meaning to read this one for years! And there's a movie too, so I mean...come on! I love when books are made into movies!
  3. The Maze Runner: My friend Melissa just finished the second and she said it's amazing and we have very similar taste in books, so I'm really excited about this series :)
  4. Anna Dressed in Blood: This is a book for one of my Goodreads groups. It's another I want to read asap.
  5. Shiver: I have heard so many things about Stiefvater's books and definitely want to see what all the fuss is about.
  6. The Alchemyst: A little behind on this series, as the 6th one comes out in August, but it's another I've wanted to read for a really long time!
  7. Dark Kiss: Another NetGalley book! It looks great :)
  8. Fifty Shades Darker: After finishing Fifty Shades last week - I'm totally stoked for the second book!
  9. Shadow of Night: I just recently got approved for this one on NetGalley. I loved the first one - it was such a good book.
  10. Dark Frost: I am hoping to read the first in the Mythos Academy because my review is "due" tomorrow for this one. Uh ohhh!