Sunday, March 28, 2010

28 March - Jane Eyre completed

Jane Eyre Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. What a wonderful love story & such wonderful characters - Jane, Mr. Rochester. This is now my new favorite Classic, one I'm sure I'll read over and over again.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

25 March - self-medicating

Scott had a really bad week last week with school & work (honestly, I don't usually ask for things like this, but we could use any extra prayers right now).  Anyhow, to self-medicate, he thought it would be a good idea to splurge on a new TV.  He's wanted a big screen for a really long time (what guy doesn't?), & he didn't have much difficulty convincing me because 1. I felt so bad for all that he was dealing with, & 2. we could get one in time for my New Mooon party (which I had last night)!

Our friend, Jason, came over & helped Scott take apart our "now-too-small" entertainment center.

And haul it up the stairs (poor Jason didn't know what he was getting himself into).

Our new set up: our family room looks like we're in college again, just with a really big TV.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

23 March - Great and Terrible Beauty completed

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1) A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was entertaining, but nothing exceptionally good. It was an intriguing concept & a fast read, even though at times, I wondered when it would end. I hate cliff hangers because now I feel like I need to read the rest of the series. Not sure if I really want to or not.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

20 March - At Home in Mitford completed

At Home in Mitford (Mitford Years #1) At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It started out slow, but as I got to the know the characters, I liked it more & more. There were so many that I loved hearing about: Dooley, Puny, Miss Rose & Uncle Billy, Cynthia, & of course, Father Tim. This book didn't grab me like many others have, but it was well written & full of inspiring tidbits. I'll have to hold off before reading the rest in this series. I need something a little more "I-just-can't-put-it-down" before I can settle into another slow read.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

17 March - things I'm loving

Things I'm loving right now:

1. Great Impasta's Chicken Mexicana over rigatoni: On Scott's drive home from Palo Alto yesterday, he stopped in Danville to pick up some pasta & a salad for me. It was an incredibly delicious treat.

2. Horchata w/ ice
3. My Goodreads book clubs - The Next Best Book Club and The Book Addicts

Currently Reading:
At Home in Mitford, by Jan Karon
Next to-be-read:

A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray, A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick,

 Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Erghese

4. a tiny morsel of Inspiration Pictures that are currently making me happy & a little bit envious:

(I can't remember where I found the other pics.)

5. And of course, spending as much time as possible with Scott & William.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

16 March - what's my age again?

Yesterday, Scott was filling out a census form & asked me how old I was, "26, right?"
I paused & responded, "No. I'm 25."
"No . . . you're 26."
"No I'm not." I started counting my fingers to figure out how old I was. He was right! I double checked only to get the same result.  What?!
This last week, a few people have asked me how old I was. (If it's cutting it even semi-close to my birthday (meaning within six months of it), I'll sometimes lean towards the older side by saying, "almost #__." I tend to claim the older age because so many people think I'm still in high school. Some guy checking my driver's license at the bookstore even asked where I got my fake ID . . . while I had Will with me!) Well I haven't even been hesitating this last week while informing people that I'm 25 - the sister missionaries who came to dinner at my parents' house (who thought I was still in high school even though I'm older than they are) & some of my friends. So for anyone who's wondering, I've done the math, & I am indeed 26 years old!  I never would have thought I'd be someone to not know her age - I was always so surprised when I was younger to see "older" people trying to remember how old they were. Weren't they counting down the days till their next birthday? I was! 
So there you have it. I am officially "old" (or so I would have thought when I was younger) because my brain is fried, I'm delusional, & I'm counting my age on my fingers. So excuse me while I go put in my denchers, sit in my big La-Z-Boy recliner & read my grandma's big-print Romance novels while drinking prune juice :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

15 March - why Lavyrle, of course

When I was at my parents' last week, I really got into reading again (it's been a while since I've been obsessed with books). I finished the library book that I brought with me on the first night there & was ready for my next book. I asked my mom if she had anything fun to read, but she had just gotten rid of most of her books.  After searching the house, she finally remembered some books that my grandma has.  She went into my grandmother's closet & pulled out this disgusting, dirty book - it was a large print, used edition from the library with a mauve/pink shiny cover & a lacy pillow w/ a bouquet of flowers on the front.  If I were walking in the bookstore or library, I would most certainly pass it by!  It was titled The Endearment, was a Romance novel (which I vowed never to read), & to make it worse, the author's name was LaVyrle! Sorry to offend you if you know someone named LaVyrle, but my first thoughts were, "Is she an LDS author?," "What kind of name is that?" and "There's no way someone by that name could write a good book." Talk about judging a book by its cover!

(Honestly, would you pick this book up except to laugh at it?)

Well, my mom told me to just try it & kept saying that she remembered quite liking the stories. And to help me get past the author's name, she started referring to her as "Lovey" (it's a little better). Well, I was shocked when I was hooked from page one. I quickly finished the book & read another one, Years, right after. Both of the stories were really sweet - I loved them (although the first one had some racy scenes)! My mom then surprised me with two more of hers.  Who would have thought that I would be reading LaVyrle Spencer novels, let alone four of them within a week? And I definitely wouldn't classify these as Romance novels (at least what I would have expected one to be) - especially Years (which I especially liked). They are very sweet stories that show the importance of & love between families, point out the beauty in simple everyday things, & make you feel as though you're looking into the lives of very real people. If you want to get on the Lovey bandwagon with me, feel free.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

13 March - a lazy week plus photography class

I have spent the last week or so visiting my parents (more realistically, they've been watching Will for me while I've had the chance to relax a little & read four books!). It has been a great break for me & will hopefully help me get through the next section of Scott's school & work (poor guy - he needs the break even more than I do).

View from my parents' home - isn't it beautiful?

I've also been taking a photography class once a week for the last few weeks.  I drove into San Francisco today to do the lighting demos. 
This poor girl had tons of us surrounding her & taking pictures.  (I know this isn't a good picture - camera strap, shadows, person walking, bike . . . but I was mostly trying to figure out the proper exposure without feeling rushed or pressured to get the perfect composition.)

I got so nervous when it was my turn to take pictures that I just did it as quickly as possible to make room for someone else.

Afterward, a different group of us went to Nicole's "studio" (her apartment) to practice tabletop photography.
Tabletop demo - I loved doing this! Don't the berries look delicious? - Mmm . . . one of the many perks of spring and summer.

the setup - Nicole taking a demo picture for us, so we knew what ours should look like.

a blue horse bookend

I LOVE to learn new things, so this class has been a lot of fun for me.  Now I just need to practice like crazy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

4 March - project completed

Almost a month ago, I mentioned that my friend Catherine & I were working on a project together.  I had hoped to finish it the following week, but because I have been sick, any energy that I had was quickly extinguished.  Now that Scott's parents are in town & can watch Will for me, I forced myself to finish my HAPPY BIRTHDAY BANNER today. Ta da!

I've never made anything like this before, so it definitely took some trial & error on a few things before I understood what to do. It feels so good to have something crossed off my seemingly endless list of projects.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2 March - inspiring & funny websites (I'll let you decide which one is which)

1st - My amazing & talented friend, Caitlin, has kicked off her design blog
Check it out if you haven't already. It's full of inspiring ideas & pictures. She's just posted pictures of her baby's nursery, & it's beautiful!

2nd - I came across this Pussycat Dolls Workout DVD review last night. I wasn't originally going on Amazon to look this up, it just happened to be recommended with the Julianne Hough Dance Workout. The "most helpful" review they have for the PD Workout was hilarious! I was actually laughing out loud to an Amazon product review - who does that? Apparently I do, & so does my sister. The review's a little raunchy (you've been warned), but what else do you expect with something related to the Pussycat Dolls?

UPDATE: After rereading the review, I'm updating the status from "a little raunchy" to "raunchier than I remembered." You've been warned again!

Monday, March 1, 2010

1 March - diaper crystals

When I woke up this morning, I took my time getting ready, did some deep-cleaning upstairs, & then spent a little time looking things up online.  This whole time, Will was happily running back & forth between bedrooms, playing with his toys, playing the piano, & climbing up and down the stairs.  When I finally headed down the stairs this morning, Will kept saying, "no no no no." I smiled & repeated after him, not thinking anything of it.  When I looked at the bottom of the stairs, my tune changed, "no No No NO!"
It looked like there was fake snow all over the second half of the staircase & on the tile below.  The source of all that "snow?" - a diaper was mixed in with all this mess & looked like it had been rummaged through.  There were diaper crystals everywhere! I ran down the rest of the stairs, grabbed the vacuum & cleaned as fast as I could.  Will tagged along beside me, attempting to hold the vacuum handle while I said, "What a good helper!" (You have to encourage kids when you can, right? But it felt dishonest telling him how helpful he was when he'd made the disaster in the first place.) When cleaning wasn't as fun as he'd anticipated, he opted for grabbing the crystals with his hands & rubbing them in his hair! Thank goodness there wasn't any poop!
What would I do without my little guy to entertain me & keep me on my toes?  It's a great start to a beautiful day! (And I'm only being slightly sarcastic - I couldn't help but laugh.  It serves me right for looking online without keeping an eye on him. He had to entertain himself somehow! Now if I can just remember to always throw diapers away.)