Friday, August 31, 2012

August in Review

You can find July's review: here!
Yay!

Next month is my birthday - so if you are interested in promoting your blog a little, I am holding a giveaway. If you want to contribute ad space or a small giftcard or shop credit, please contact me at fantasticalsharing AT yahoo DOT com.


So here's what has been going on:

  1. Pinterest Weds is still my favorite day: here, here, here, here, and here. I'm over 10,000 pins now. If you want to follow my cray tush on Pinterest...go here.
  2. I posted my second monthly TBR list. It's massive right now :(
  3. Okay, maybe Nail Files Friday is my favorite day. I can never decide. Week 31, Week 32, Week 33, Week 34, Week 35.
  4. I had a ridiculously horrible Monday when my husband was out in the field in the end of July, beginning of August. I'm talking maggots, sewage backed up into my downstairs, staph-like infection, paperwork bouncing back that our orders depend on, etc.
  5. BOUT OF BOOKS! I love this readathon :) My Goals, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Wrap Up.
  6. The Pinterest Project (co-hosted by my besties Amber & Melissa) is so much fun! I love seeing all the different projects on Tuesday and I get so excited to announce top clicked and my favorite each week :) Week 3 {Chevron Lamp}, Week 4 {Dry Erase Menu Planner}, Week 5 {DIY Pizza Lunchables}. Greatest Hits: Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5
  7. The first round of voting for The Pinterest Project is still open. You can go vote for your favorite project - the person who wins get 3 ad spots! HERE
  8. Giada de Laurentiis TWEETED me, people. Proof.
  9. Because I'm using Passionfruit now, I was able to make a Meet the Sponsors post. If you would like to sponsor Fortune, just check out that Sponsor "tab" - I'd love to have you!
  10. I made my first fashion post. Cat-astrophe Walk.
  11. I talked about my cat, Muffin, and her catnip addiction. There are pictures too.
  12. Tried to see the Perseids and got stalked by a skunk.
  13. I read 12 books this month.This is a huge leap from 3 books last month.
What I reviewed:
  • The First Husband by Laura Dave [here]
  • Scott Pilgrim: Precious Little Life Vol 1 [here]
  • Two For the Dough by Janet Evanovich [here]
  • Beyond the Wall [here]
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater [here]
  • 10 Deadliest Sharks [here]
  • Linger by Maggie Stiefvater [here]
  • Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness [here]
  • Forever by Maggie Stiefvater [here]
  • The Scorch Trials [here]

Some progress on my "resolutions":
  • Eat more fruit - I've fallen a little short on this one lately :(
  • Get organized - Getting way better here!
  • Stay on schedule (I'm hoping to manage my time better) - Doing really well here too - hope to cross it off next month.
  • Read A LOT - Even though I read 12 books, I feel like I didn't really read as much as I could.
  • Keep track of finances and save lots of money - We're working really hard on this one. We hope to refinance Nick's car next month and that will really really help us out.
  • Update blog love page. - Done!
  • **NEW** Start exercising again.
  • **NEW** Get involved in Matthew's school
  • **NEW** Do some fun girly, crafty stuff with Cami.
  • **NEW** Master the art of being a school-age kid mom. Try to balance everything.

Nail Files #35


Essie Better Together
This was a really good pale, "sheer" pink. I love it!
It's perfect for a French mani (even though I didn't do one this time I wore it)


Pinspiration:

Marbled Nails

Source: blog.birchbox.com via Sarah on Pinterest

I'm Not Lion

Source: kelliegonzo.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Essie Knockout Pout

Source: shortnchic.blogspot.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Scorch Trials [Review]


Stats:
360 Pages [Kindle]
Published 12 October 2010
ASIN: B003F3FJQO
Amazon//Barnes&Noble


Synopsis:
Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?



My Thoughts:
In the sequel to The Maze Runner, the Gladers are finally safe. They are rescued. And then everything goes wrong...

Soon they find out that instead of a safe haven, they are now about to start the 2nd phase created by WICKED. They travel through a pitch black tunnel and are attacked by silver, amorphous, fire hot, metal balls. When they finally reach the end of the tunnel, they realize they are at the surface where sun flares have created an apocalyptic climate and there are zombie-like Flare-infected humans.

In this book, you are kind of given a mindf#@& situation. You don't really know what's the truth and what is a WICKED created Variable. You don't know who is a genuine person. You question everything. I absolutely love how Dashner has created a story that makes you suspicious of each character and has you questioning what's really going on. It's not a predictable read. It's rare to find that kind of quality of work nowadays with so many books being written about the same thing. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind series. If you love dystopia or off-the-wall type reads, pick up this series!


Previous Review:
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater {here}

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Forever [Review]


Stats:
405 Pages [Kindle]
Published 12 July 2011
ASIN: B004VSTP4Y
Amazon//Barnes&Noble


Synopsis:

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.


My Thoughts:
Forever was a great ending to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.

It was highly more emotional than the other two combined. There is more of the Isabel and Cole perspective. Another death has propelled the sheer arrogance of Isabel's dad into taking matters into his own hand and planning an aerial attack on the wolf pack. Cole is working hard to find a cure. I do like how a lot is resolved emotionally, but a lot is left open for your imagination to wing what happened to the main characters after the story ended.



Previous Review:
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater [here]

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...
 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Meteors + Skunk

Every year since as long as I can remember, I've tried to see the Perseids meteor shower in August. 2009 was my first successful viewing - I saw about 13 really awesome meteors. They were so cool! Every other year it has been too cloudy :(

So this year, I was bound and determined to get to see them again - get Nick to see them and then wake up the kids so they could see them.

We started checking each night from the 10th because you can see some that early, but best nights are 12th and 13th. It had been cloudy EVERY night and bugging the crap out of me. So on the 13th, we went out and were really hoping to see some. We went out around 9:30 pm and were sitting on the hill next to our sideyard's fence.

We waited for our eyes to adjust. We couldn't really see anything. All of a sudden my husband JUMPS UP and yells incoherently. I'm like "What?" and he goes "THE SKUNK IS BACK!" - I look to my left and not even 4 feet away from me is a skunk. So, of course, I get up and run away. Thankfully neither of us got sprayed. This little skunk has been hanging around - it's been in our sideyard, behind our house, etc.

We decided to sit in our driveway (which we share with the duplex next door as well - so a total of 4 parking spots and a nice little driveway up to it). And a few minutes later, we see a skunk (pretty sure the same one) trying to sneak up on us from the duplex next door's garage. WTH?! So we went inside. LOL

We came back out around 11:30 and were able to see 2 really faint meteors - which wasn't nearly as awesome as 2009, but we saw something and that was enough for me :)

Have you seen a meteor shower? Or had a close encounter with a skunk?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Nail Files #34


Sally Hansen Xtremewear Fuchsia Power

I am not sure how much I like the Xtremewear after using it a couple times. It's not bad, but it's not my favorite. I did like the color and the gold glitter that I found in my in laws nail polish drawer was a nice touch!

Pinspiration:

Jennie's Maleficent in Space nails!
 
Source: wellshutthefrontdoor.blogspot.ca via Sarah on Pinterest


Batman nails :)

Source: my.opera.com via Sarah on Pinterest


SO true!

Source: likeacandyshop.blogspot.dk via Sarah on Pinterest

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Birthday Girl :)

My birthday is coming up (mid-Sept) and I figured I would do a fun giveaway. I'm planning on giving away some books and nail polish I have had saved up for a while now to do a giveaway. Probably an ad space for here and on my food blog as well.

But I would also love to also giveaway stuff that represents some of my blogging buddies - whether it be a small giftcard donation, shop credit, an ad space, social media buttons, etc. Just anything that would be an awesome win + also bring you all some new readers :)

If you are interested, please send me an email at fantasticalsharing AT yahoo DOT com.

I will love you forever and ever.
True story :)

Linger [Review]


Stats:
369 Pages [Kindle]
Published 13 July 2010
ASIN: B003NHRGSQ
Amazon//Barnes&Noble


Synopsis:
the longing.
Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.

the loss.
Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human.

the linger.
For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces -- wolf and human -- with love bearing its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?



My Thoughts:
So Sam & Grace are together.
The cure worked.


But now there is a whole slew of new problems. Beck has left behind new wolves to be cared for. Isabel's dad is even more gung-ho about killing more wolves. Grace isn't feeling well and stinks of wolf. And Grace's parents catch them together in her bed (kind of).

I think this book was easier for me to get sucked in to because of the way Sam & Grace are separated by way of her never-present roommate parents...who by the way are complete douchebags. I was forbade from seeing my now-husband right after we started dating. I think Grace becomes a little irritating in this one, in the sense that you just want her to SPEAK UP about how she's feeling. I was glad she told her dumb parents off - good for her, but I wanted her to say something about how she was feeling to Sam. Cole is rough. He is a hard character to get a feel for at first. I think I'm starting to like him now - or at least want to see his character grow and have resolve to his problems. Isabel is probably my new favorite character. She is the bitch that the story needs. The person who comes in, tells it like it is, fills in the blanks, and gets stuff done! It's also interesting to get to know her personality better. I really love her perspective in the story. I really enjoyed how Stiefvater went more into the wolf mythology in this one and how she brought Cole, whose dad is a "mad scientist" into the story to help get a more accurate opinion on why the wolves function as they do. This was just another great book!



Previous Review:
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater [here]

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0 - Wrap Up


I fell off the readathon wagon in the weekend time frame - Day 6 and Day 7, I didn't read at all. On Day 6, I was out from 9am to 5pm school shopping. On Day 7, my allergies got the best of me and I felt like I was hit with a freight train. I couldn't concentrate at all on reading. :(

But coming from a reading slump - where I was finishing 2 or 3 books in a month (OUCH!) compared to 8 to 15 books in a month - I think I did relatively well.

Books read:
Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings [finished at the very beginning]
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Total Pages Read: 482 + 73 + 312 + 193 + 191 = 1251

My Goals that were met:
  • Participate in at least 3 challenges
  • Participate in 2 Twitter challenges
  • Visit a lot of other blogs
My main goal was to beat my last readathon accomplishments: 4 books, 1393 pages - and honestly for only reading 5 days out of the 7 - (and a really shabby 2nd day) I came really close :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

She's on the Nip.

Hey, have y'all seen that cray chick constantly blogging about her cats???


Oh, wait...that's me!

So as the title clearly eludes to, one of my cats was on the nip. Let me just preface this by saying, both of them love catnip...but one of them seriously has an addiction.

We have a couple baggies full in our cat cabinet in our kitchen (yes, I know that sounds weird, but it's where all their stuff is). For months and months, it has been left alone. Until the day. The day of the nip overdose.

Muffin (grey kitty, hubby's kitty) likes to attack toilet paper and paper towel rolls and lick anything that has a plastic wrapping around it. So when we heard a little noise in the kitchen, we assumed she was licking the plastic bag thing that held the napkins...whatever. Hubs went to the room quick and I went to go check on the special kitty who licks plastic.

This is what I found...


Muffin had broken into the cabinet, chewed open a baggie, and dumped the catnip all over the floor. She then proceeded to roll around in it.

Bella was like "uh...guys?" and then Muffin smacked her in the face for getting too close to her nip.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

10 Deadliest Sharks [Review]


Stats:
120 Pages
Published 14 Dec 2010
ISBN: 0982750722
Amazon//Barnes&Noble


Synopsis:
Sharks are one of the world's oldest and most ferocious predators. For as long as man has entered the sea, sharks have struck fear in their hearts. This groundbreaking graphic novel from Discovery Channel and Silver Dragon Books examines the world's deadliest sharks and sheds light on their true nature, refuting the notion that they are mindless killing machines, but in reality are among the most amazing and well adapted creatures on earth.


My Thoughts:

When I saw this galley on NetGalley, I was all over it. I wasn't even aware that Shark Week 2012 was coming up when I saw it, but perfect timing :)

This book is in a comic book format and is packed with tons of information about ten different species of shark. It took me quite a while to read this book because I kept jumping to Google and Youtube to look up stuff about the sharks I was reading about. I highly recommend this to any shark enthusiasts or even non-shark enthusiasts, as sharks are fascinating creatures and I think that educating people about them is the best way to teach people to respect sharks. I've been watching Shark Week this year and was excited to read more about the insane shark attack involving Rodney Fox, who I had seen on the "How Jaws Changed the World" special. I'd have to say the most interesting of all the sharks discussed is the Shortfin Mako. I can't wait to go Google-crazy and learn more.
Thank you to NetGalley and Zenescope for a galley copy of this book.


Previous Review:
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater [here]

Cat-astrophe Walk

So...I'm trying to get better about my horrible fashion sense. Most of the time, I just wear a t-shirt or tank top with jeans. Pinterest has helped greatly with inspiration - although I've not really attempted any of those looks. But also I feel like the trending "fads" are my style. I've graduated from black tees to more colorful girly clothes.

So here is one of my new fave outfits:

Glasses:Walmart // Necklace:Aeropostale // Ribbed Tank:Target
Striped Crop Top:Hollister // Jeans:Aeropostale // Toms:Toms.com

Now I am pretty dang proud of putting this together by my lonesome. The glasses are presciption, just so you know, didn't realize how hipster they were until after the fact. Most everything was on sale, except the glasses and Toms. I got the Hollister top for a whole $9. My first Hollister purchase.

Also since I'm having fun with these labels of mine - any fashion/outfit posts are now labelled Cat-astrophe Walk. Get it? Cat Walk, but I'm a mess when it comes to this stuff?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0 - Day 5 Updates

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Day #5 - only 2 days left :(

So yesterday I was pretty distracted and couldn't concentrate on reading, so I only got thru about 170ish pages. I'm currently using the text-to-speech function on my Kindle, so that I'm multitasking. I need to at least finish Forever and get halfway thru The Scorch Trials - NEED.

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)


10:30 AM
Total pages read: 20
Books read: Forever (currently reading) 
Total blogs visited: none yet

12:15 PM
Total pages read: 20 + 44 = 64
Books read: Forever (currently reading)
Total blogs visited: none yet 

8 PM
Total pages read: 64 + 12 = 78
Books read: Forever (currently reading)
Total blogs visited: 6
I had to take kitty to the vet and make dinner and clean and all that, so now I'm back to reading (: 

11 PM - end of day
Total pages read: 78 + 113 = 191
Books read: Forever and 10 Deadliest Sharks (not counting towards page or book count)
Total blogs visited: 6

Nail Files #33


Sinful Colors Island Coral

This is seriously one of my most favorite colors ever! It was the perfectest peach/coral color! This is my first time with a more solid Sinful Colors polish and I was impressed with the quality :)

Pinspiration:

Cutest nails ever!

Source: yeungmotherhubbard.com via Sarah on Pinterest



Source: hairsprayandhighheels.blogspot.com via Sarah on Pinterest



Source: atthepinkofperfection.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0 - Day 4 Updates

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Day #4 means a little over halfway thru...nooooo!

Today, my plans are to finish Forever. Then start back on The Scorch Trials and get at least 50% thru it.
Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2)

10 AM
Total pages read: 72
Books read: Forever (currently reading)
Total blogs visited: None yet.

Challenge #1: The Candy Challenge
Q. Tell everyone about your snacking - habits.
A. Depending on my mood and cravings, I could eat yogurt with berries and granola, cereal, leftovers, or one of my favorites, English muffins with melty peanut butter on them.

Next Day Final Update
Total pages read: 72 + 121 = 193
Books read: Forever (currently reading)

Yesterday I thought I was gonna read a lot, but then I was supremely distracted all day. So I didn't read as much as I wanted. I definitely need to kick it up a notch because I have to bring one kitty to the vet today and school shopping tomorrow.

Shiver [Review]


Stats: 
402 pages [Kindle]
Published 1 August 2009
ASIN:  B002JWD6AS
Amazon//Barnes&Noble


Synopsis:
Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.


My Thoughts:





It's been a while since I have fallen madly in love with a book. I really love when it is an author I've never read before too, because this just means there are all these books that I have to look forward to reading!

Shiver takes place in fictional Mercy Falls, Minnesota. Grace, a 17 yr old, is a wolf attack survivor who is obsessed with the wolf who saved her life. Sam is her wolf. Every year when spring comes around, he turns back into a teenage bookworm musician boy. Every year when it starts getting cold, he turns back into a wolf. The only thing is that each year that passes will dwindle down the chances of a shift back to human and eventually Sam will just be a wolf. After a high schooler is killed in a wolf attack, the townsfolk take to the woods with guns to hunt down the wolves. Sam is shot in wolf form and turns up on Grace's back door as a human.

I love what Stiefvater has done with the wolf "mythology" - the temperature makes the wolves shift and their time as humans is limited. The wolves are actually wolves when they shift - they have wolf emotions, not human emotions, and remember their human memories in a wolf fashion. I really like Grace. She's not your typical whiny, annoying teenage protagonist. She is a smart, independent, brave, strong teenage girl. Sam isn't your typical douchebag, angsty male lead. He is shy, sensitive, and overwhelmingly likeable.

This one made me cry. Extra extra brownie points because this one made me cry :)
 


Previous Review:
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness {here}

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0: Day 3 Updates

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Day #3 today.

Okay so yesterday I was supposed to read "a butt ton" but that totally failed. So today I really do need to read a butt ton. I'm 1/3 of the way through Linger. I want to finish it and read most of Forever.

  Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)


9 AM
Total pages read: 48
Books read: Linger (currently reading)
Total blogs visited: None yet.

Challenge #1: Word Search [Completed]
Challenge #2: Match the Zombie Covers [Completed]
Both were really fun :)

4:45 PM
Total pages read: 48 + 155 = 203
Books read: Linger (currently reading)
Total blogs visited: 15

Next Day Final Update
Total pages read: 203 + 89 + 20 = 312
Books read: Linger and Forever (currently reading)
Total blogs visited: 15