Sunday, September 30, 2012

September in Review

You can find August's review: here!
September flew by, didn't it?! I would have to say it is my favorite month and has been for a long time. I am one of those nerds who loves back-to-school time. I love the leaves changing colors and the cooler (but not yet cold) weather. I love breaking out the long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, boots, hoodies, thick socks, etc. You cannot go wrong with soups, chilis, and pumpkin EVERYTHING! I'm really excited for October too. Halloween is my favorite holiday :)

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

  1. I shared my September TBR list. I still have lots of catching up to do!
  2. I shared a chat roulette compilation video of Call Me, Maybe. It's hilarious.
  3. Do you want to be my BFF? Here are things you need to know.
  4. The first Pinterest Project Queen was announced! Check out Torie's winning project. Plus the most clicked projects from Week 6, Week 7, and Week 8.
  5. Speaking of The Pinterest Project...check out Week 6, Week 7, and Week 8.
  6. If that wasn't enough Pinterest, I do OHPW each week. Here, here, here, and here.
  7. Nail Files Friday is awesome. I love showing off my nails each week. #36, #37, #38, #39.
  8. I did a little mom-blogging and talked about my oldest's first "week" of Kindergarten.
  9. Interested in watching The Dictator, Dark Shadows, Snow White & The Huntsman? I talked about them and a few other movies: here.
  10. My 2nd microwave in 5 years has died. So I'm never owning one again. That escalated quickly!
  11. Another round of sponsors to share with you: 4 lovely ladies. If you are interested in sponsoring me, check out my sponsor page.
  12. I love SYTYCD and Switched at Birth.
  13. I talked about how I blog. I think this post is pretty informative.
  14. I also talked about Revolution and Last Resort.
  15. Because I turned 24 this month, I absolutely blogged about it. Duh.
  16. Have you seen Resident Evil Retribution yet? Here's what I thought.
  17. I read 8 books this month. Not as many as I wanted to.
What I reviewed:
  • The Death Cure by James Dashner [here]
  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake [here]
  • Fallen by Lauren Kate [here]
  • Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo [here]
  • Love, Lust, & Faking It by Jenny McCarthy [here]
  • Fifty Shades Freed by EL James [here]
  • Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings [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.

Resident Evil Retribution

File:Resident evil retribution poster.jpg 

Let me just go ahead and say, I wasn't expecting a lot out of this movie. The fourth installment kind of seemed like beating a dead horse. But because I've watched the other ones...I felt compelled to keep on watching. I actually really loved this one.

Firstly, Milla is both badass and gorgeous. I love watching her interviews on talk shows. She's one of my favorites.
So the 5th starts out where the 4th left off...they get attacked on Arcadia and Alice is knocked out. She wakes up in suburbia - completely cleaned up - making breakfast for her husband and her deaf daughter. Then the zombies attack. She wakes up in a whited out huge room...pretty much naked. Clearly, Umbrella Corp has imprisoned her again. One of her old friends, who is brainwashed, tries to interrogate her. Suddenly, the security system is down and it's time for Alice to make a break for it.


This movie is a mindf@# which are my favorite kinds. You don't know what's real, what's staged, etc. There are some new, completely awesome characters too :)
I recommend this for R.E. fans - if you haven't seen any of the others, you'd probably be really confused. This one is worth it for fans of the series though :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Twenty-four.

On the 16th, I turned 24. YAY.

I'm not really big on my own birthday - I never really have been. I'm not one of those "Ugh I'm a year older" people...I guess I just don't enjoy being the center of attention.
{I probably should've checked myself in the mirror before getting pictures taken :P}
Yay for crazy hair and old makeup!

When I was younger, I got to choose a restaurant to eat at for my birthday, but this past year, we've gotten into the habit of staying home for everyone's birthday. The birthday person gets to choose their favorite meals and what cake they want. We had pizza for both kids' birthdays and steak for hubby's. Cami chose a strawberry cake, Matthew chose a chocolate cake, and hubs chose berry cheesecake.

One really awesome thing about my birthday is that it is around the beginning of PUMPKIN TIME!! So I wanted pumpkin French toast for my breakfast and pumpkin cheesecake for my cake. I also made a beef and broccoli stir fry with hibachi style fried rice for dinner. I make my food on my birthday because I do every day and it doesn't bother me in the least bit :)



Nick got my birthday present the day before and it was actually exactly what I thought it would be! I didn't guess out loud ahead of time because I didn't want to be wrong LOL

He hid it behind the fence and told me it was by his car. I was expecting a bike and then turned the corner to see no bike behind the car and I legitimately had my heart sink for a second. I turned around to look at him and he pointed to where the fence was and there it was. It's so awesome! Like seriously. I'm not a girly girl. I didn't want a pink bike...and hubby knew this. It's AWESOME. AWESOME.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Revolution & Last Resort {Plus a Winner!}

Before I talk TV...who won? Who won?! 

The winner of my birthday giveaway (books, polish, giftcards, and ad space)...
is Melissa Marsh.

Congrats, Melissa! I will be sending you an email shortly. 
*If for some reason I don't hear from her, I will redraw a winner on Monday at 12pm*




Last week, I talked about SYTYCD and Switched at Birth [here] - this week I'm talking about two of my new favorite *NEW* tv shows.

If you haven't watched these two shows, WATCH THEM! I really like that shows and movies are becoming more related to corrupt governments. I know a lot of people don't give two craps about our corrupt government, but I feel like through fictional stories, people become more curious. Curiosity is good!

So now on to these shows....
From ABC's site:
500 feet beneath the ocean's surface, the U.S. ballistic missile submarine Colorado receives their orders. Over a radio channel, designed only to be used if their homeland has been wiped out, they're told to fire nuclear weapons at Pakistan.

Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) demands confirmation of the orders only to be unceremoniously relieved of duty by the White House. XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) finds himself suddenly in charge of the submarine and facing the same difficult decision. When he also refuses to fire without confirmation of the orders, the Colorado is targeted, fired upon, and hit. The submarine and its crew find themselves crippled on the ocean floor, declared rogue enemies of their own country. Now, with nowhere left to turn, Chaplin and Kendal take the sub on the run and bring the men and women of the Colorado to an exotic island. Here they will find refuge, romance and a chance at a new life, even as they try to clear their names and get home.


This was sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat good. Also I feel like this is a highly accurate portrayal of how our country actually is. Attack this country, but don't let the American people know because we don't feel like going to Congress and letting them decide to declare war. The whole fictional scenario is a very realistically done scenario. I could really see this happening. I'm really excited to see more from this show. It's got a great cast too :)

From the NBC site:
What would you do without it all? In this epic adventure from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions and "Supernatural's" Eric Kripke, a family struggles to reunite in an American landscape where every single piece of technology - computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights - has mysteriously blacked out forever. A drama with sweeping scope and intimate focus, "Revolution" is also about family - both the family you're born into and the family you choose. This is a swashbuckling journey of hope and rebirth seen through the eyes of one strong-willed young woman, Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos, "Being Human"), and her brother Danny (Graham Rogers, "Memphis Beat"). When Danny is kidnapped by militia leaders for a darker purpose, Charlie must reconnect with her estranged uncle Miles (Billy Burke, "The Twilight Saga"), a former U.S. Marine living a reclusive life. Together, with a rogue band of survivors, they set out to rescue Danny, overthrow the militia and ultimately re-establish the United States of America. All the while, they explore the enduring mystery of why the power failed, and if - or how - it will ever return.

In the pilot, we see the modern world. Two kids zoned out with a tv and an iPad (I'm so glad my kids aren't like this!) - Ben, the father, rushes in and tells his wife that "it's happening" - and then the power goes out. The cinematography of the power going out is insane. They did a really good job with it. It flashes to present day (a decade or so later) and people are riding horses, living off the land, etc. - just like the good ole days. Except that instead of a government, the country is ruled by militia, the Monroe Republic.


Ben and his kids live in that little shindig up there ^^ (Mom died? I don't remember - but she isn't there) It's clear that he knows something about why the power went out. General Monroe is after Ben (and his brother Miles). The militia show up to their settlement and Danny (the son) starts a little brawl when they go to take his dad, even though his dad wants to go willingly so no one is harmed. Ben is killed, Danny is taken instead. Before the brawl broke out, Ben gives one of the settlers, Aaron, what looks like a thumbdrive on a chain with instructions to get it to a woman named Grace. Charlie (the daughter) is off pouting during the incident and comes back when she hears the gunshots. Along with her dad's gf and Aaron, Charlie sets out to get Danny back.

They find Miles (played by Billy Burke) - and the only thing that I can really say is that he is BAD ASS. I mean if you watch it for anything, watch it because Billy Burke is EPICLY AWESOME! It's clear that Miles and his brother Ben (and family) weren't close. Miles is a rough'n'tough, tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy.
There are sword fights and all kinds of crazy shenanigans before Miles agrees to go with them to get Danny back.

Episode 2 was even better! I'm seriously in love with this show! JJ Abrams is amazing :)

Who watched these shows?? What did you think?

Shows starting soon:
(all in EST)
Sun, Sept 30:
Once Upon a Time @ 8pm on ABC
Family Guy @ 9pm on Fox
American Dad @ 9:30pm on Fox

Thurs, Oct 4:
30 Rock @ 8pm on NBC

Nail Files #39



Essie Chinchilly + Pure Ice Beware


Pinspiration:
 
Halloween nails.

Source: madmanis.tumblr.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 
Mickey Nails

Source: mouzekateerz.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 
A different thing to do

Source: zszywka.pl via Sarah on Pinterest

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Poltergeeks [Review]

{Actually 3 1/2 Stars}

Stats:
320 Pages
To Be Published 2 Oct 2012
ISBN: 1908844116
Amazon//Barnes&Noble


Synopsis:
15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.



My Thoughts:
Poltergeeks takes us into the world of a Canadian teenage witch named Julie. Julie and her best friend and fellow geek Marcus are fundraising when they run into a poltergeist at old lady Mrs. Gilbert's house. Thinking her amateur witchcraft can handle a simple, non-malicious poltergeist, Julie takes action. However, Julie quickly finds out that this is way over her head.

I'm not going to say I really loved this book, nor would I say I disliked it. It's worthwhile to read. I feel like a lot of the book is cliched though. Inexperienced witch thinks she can take on the big, bad spirit. Only live parent gets horribly injured because of said inexperienced witch. Best friend has feelings for her. I wasn't really a big fan of Julie at times though. She's kind of selfish, arrogant, and at times, just plain annoying.

There are some pretty unique parts to the story though. I'd have to say I really liked Betty, the appointed guardian slash immortal spirit. Marcus was a really likeable character too. The actual poltergeist events were very well written and detailed.

Thank you to Angry Robot and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this :)


Previous Review:
Fifty Shades Freed by EL James [here]

Sunday, September 23, 2012

How I Blog

1) I make my blog as readable as possible. I like white backgrounds, but I don't mind a blog with a patterned background. Just as long as your text is sitting on white. I try to keep my sidebars organized and clean - with an easy place to find me on other social media sites and a place to follow right at the top. I make my blog as wide as I can without the scroll bar popping up at the bottom because I hate narrow blogs.

2) I post regularly and try to post the same stuff. I don't want a sporadic blog or feel like my blog has no identity. I finally have a more solid schedule. I let my blog get a little too fluffy back in the day, so I'm trying to remember to post more about me and my family.
{This is the routine I usually fall into}
Monday: The Pinterest Project most clicked & sometimes a personal post
Tuesday: The Pinterest Project
Wednesday: Oh, How Pinteresting
Thursday: Book Review
Friday: Nails & TV Talk
Saturday & Sunday: Movie Talk, Life, etc.

3) I schedule posts. Scheduling is one of the very best things you can do as a blogger. It creates so much less stress. I also have a calendar pad from Walmart that helps me keep track of what is being posted when and if I have it scheduled. This helps me tremendously when I think of something I want to blog about.

4) I don't worry about how many followers I have. It seems like everyone is so concerned about the numbers. Begging for followers is obnoxious to me. I think you should celebrate big milestones, but I feel like everyone and their brother is out there annoying everyone to follow them and throwing giveaways excessively to get followers. I want GENUINE followers. If you choose to follow me, it's not because you want to win something, but because you like my blog's content. Obsessing over that number is just going to make you go mental.

5) I try to email responses to comments. When I finally learned how to have my comments forwarded to my email, I was elated. But then I kind of get sad when I see a no-reply email instead of a legitimate email. I don't respond to every single comment - it is kind of weird to reply to a two word comment like "That's cute" - but on occasion, I will tell them thank you for stopping by. And you never know, you may make a new friend by emailing someone :) If you would like to get your comments emailed to you, go to your specific blog's settings, then mobile and email. Find "Comment Notification Email" and type in the email you want them sent to and save. To stop being a no-reply commenter, go to your Blogger profile and then edit your settings. Click the box next to "Show my email address" and save!

6) I participate in linky parties. I love linky parties - they are one of my main sources of finding new blogs and traffic to my blog. What I do is I link up on the allotted date and then usually wait a week and check out the FULL list of links. I don't like checking the day of, when the linky list is still open. I feel bad for people who link up towards the closing time and then don't get people visiting their blog. I also try to visit a bunch of links - I'm talking if there are under 50 people, I'll most likely visit each blog. However, I do not visit bloggers who link up their main page to the linky list. I don't want to scroll through a week's worth of content to find that one post for the linky party. Word to the wise, link up the actual post and actually visit other blogs!

7) Unfollow blogs. Now I'm sure you're like "do what?" at this point. Hear me out! I regularly go through the blogs I follow. I do this because I don't want to be an empty follower to someone. I don't want to follow their blog and never comment on their posts or ever communicate with them ever. It makes me feel a little guilty. I also go through blogs because there are times where someone stops blogging, life happens, and it helps keep my list of blogs a little cleaner.

So how do you blog?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fifty Shades Freed [Review]



Stats:
#3 in Fifty Shades series
594 Pages
Published 1 Jan 2011
ASIN: B007IXWL2C


Synopsis:
When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey, it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian's singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed. Now, together, they have more-love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian's opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity, or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present. Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, tragedy, malice and fate combine to make Ana's worst nightmares come true.


My Thoughts:
The reason this one gets 3 stars from me instead of 2 is because of the Midnight Sun-esque bits at the end. I'm not a fan of this whole back and forth crap that is done throughout the book. How many times does something need to almost happen to Ana that makes Christian realize he almost lost her for their dynamic to change? It's ridiculously unrealistic. I didn't really have a problem with the writing in the first two books, but this one was horrible and I finally agree with everyone who had issues with the writing. Jasmine and apex of thighs are mentioned entirely too much. I'm not a fan of the finger sucking and the backwashed drink kissing in this one. The odd popsicle fingers at the end is seriously weird too. I feel like this one left a lot of questions that remained unanswered. The whole first 3/4 of the book was so redundant and annoying. The last 1/4 was "good", but also still annoying.


Previous Review:
Love, Lust, & Faking It by Jenny McCarthy {here}

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...

Love, Lust, & Faking It [Review]


Stats:
256 Pages
Published 28 Sept 2012
ASIN: B003TLN1E4


Synopsis:

In Belly Laughs, Jenny McCarthy told you what you could really expect when you're expecting; in Baby Laughs and Life Laughs, she gave you the unfiltered ups and downs of motherhood and marriage. Now in Love, Lust, and Faking It, the inveterate truth-teller turns the lights on for a funny, often wise, and no-holds-barred look at the essence of relationships: love and sex.
McCarthy talks about finding first love and dealing with heartbreak; the importance of playing doctor and other nice and naughty fantasies; becoming a Playboy Miss October; why women are master manipulators; the virtues of sex with the lights off; the power of a "loving no," and so much more.
Love, Lust, and Faking It takes on a subject the sex symbol, mother, television star, comedian, and divorc√Če can be trusted to examine with nothing but unvarnished honesty and outrageous humor.



My Thoughts:
I've always found Jenny really fascinating and wanted to read all of her books. She's a riot on any show I've seen her on. I kind of went in expecting Chelsea Handler. It wasn't really Chelsea. It was okay, not bad, not horrible. There were many moments where I was laughing out loud. I just was unused to reading something so "light" and without real structure like a fiction plotline!


Previous Review:
Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo {here}

[Counts toward my TBR Pile challenge: here] 

Linked up at...

Friday, September 21, 2012

SYTYCD & Switched At Birth


It has been quite a time since I've dished on my DVR'd shows...in fact it was last MARCH. What?!

So...some shows are finishing up and some are starting. This week I want to talk about SYTYCD Season 9 and the first 3 episodes of Switched at Birth.

So You Think You Can Dance:
I started watching this at the beginning of season 5 and fell in love. I really enjoyed this season for the most part. My favorites were Eliana, Cyrus and Audrey. A lot of the dancers got on my nerves personality-wise (especially Amelia), but there were a lot of great dancers and great routines. Unfortunately for me, my stupid DVR didn't record the finale, so I had to look it up online to see who won. Anywho...here are my favorite routines of the season - yay for Pinterest for letting me catalog these haha!

Tiffany ~ Swing/Jive

Eliana & Cole ~ Contemporary

Audrey ~ Hip Hop

Eliana ~ Hip Hop


Switched at Birth:
So we start out with Bay coming back from the Galapagos with a new boyfriend...that was for lack of better words...weird...and awkward. Angelo has his trial and it doesn't turn out in his favor. Regina marries him to keep him in the country for Bay. Daphne gets a job at a kitchen through Katherine's connections and the boss is a total douchebag...but then after a few episodes, he kind of warms up to Daphne, but then she's reading into it wrong (maybe?) and he slept with Emmett's mom. Emmett made the sweetest freaking apology ever...a timeline...I wish I could find images for all of it. But he said when they met, when they first kissed, her first birthday surprise, his big mistake, and then it turned the corner and said Bay forgives Emmett...and then the following:

I think Bay is being super, super hard on him..and they need to get back together. LOL


Shows starting soon:
(all in EST)
Mon, Sept 24:
How I Met Your Mother @ 8pm on CBS
$24 in 24 @ 10:30pm on Food Network

Tues, Sept 25:
New Girl @ 9pm on Fox
The Mindy Project @ 9:30pm on Fox
Brickleberry @ 10:30pm on Comedy Central

Weds, Sept 26:
Law and Order: SVU @ 9pm on NBC
South Park @ 10pm on Comedy Central

Thurs, Sept 27:
Big Bang Theory @ 8pm on CBS
Vampire Diaries @ 8pm on CW - this doesn't premiere until 11 October - sorry!
Last Resort @ 8pm on ABC

Fri, Sept 28:
Fringe @ 9pm on Fox

Nail Files #38


OPI's Pink Friday + Pure Ice's Envy with Cheetah Accent

Pink Friday is part of the Nicki Minaj collection. I used my dotting tool to do the cheetah print - so much easier than freehand or toothpicks!



Pinspiration:

I like the white accent nail base!

Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com via Sarah on Pinterest
 
 
I love Jennie's Mermaid nails!

Source: wellshutthefrontdoor.blogspot.ca via Sarah on Pinterest
 
 
I also loved Tara's accent nail - how cute is that?!

Source: fabulousbutevil.com via Sarah on Pinterest