Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Tale of Lunarmorte series

While looking at my friends' updates on goodreads, I noticed that one of them had recently read a bunch of books by an author named Samantha Young. I'd never heard of her before, but after looking at the books' descriptions & then seeing how inexpensive they were on the Kindle, I decided to give them a try. Plus the fact that they were YA paranormal fiction just added to my curiosity. If you didn't know yet, I'm a huge sucker for these types of books. I blame it on my Twilight obsession from a few years ago. From there, it just bloomed & grew (that doesn't sound nearly as good as "bloom & grow" (quick, name that song!) in fact, it just sounds awkward . . . oh well, I'm sticking with it).

Well, once I got started on this series, I was hooked, & it took a lot of will power to put them down. They were fun & fast-paced, & after finishing, I didn't even want to start reading a new book b/c I was stuck on my high from these. Are they really that good? Maybe, maybe not. They needed a serious editor b/c the errors were everywhere! But being completely sucked into the story, I quickly got used to ignoring them. I loved the strong female characters, & the author's format in telling the story was so well done. It made me think of watching a TV show, namely Alias, where you'd see the character in a certain situation, but then it would suddenly take you back to . . . for example . . . earlier that day to let you know why such & such person is acting or thinking a certain way. By the time the series was over, I had laughed out loud, cried, wanted to b-slap some of the characters . . . . Perhaps it's because I read them so close together that I was so caught up in the story & felt so many emotions while reading. Whatever the reason, I really loved these books & would recommend them to anyone who loves a fun, creative, paranormal YA series.

(Warning, they are for older YA. The recommended age is 16+, but I might make it 18+.)

click on book covers to go to descriptions

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

curry chicken casserole

Last night, I made my mom's Curry Chicken Casserole, something I haven't done in a long time. I forgot how much I loved it!

broccoli florets (1-2 crowns)
2 cooked chicken breasts
1 15 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. mayonaise
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. curry powder
fresh bread crumbs
melted butter
grated sharp cheddar cheese

Cook chicken breasts just until done (I boil mine with a little salt - don't overdue it, or they'll be tough). Cool & cut into bite size pieces. Lightly steam broccoli & drain well. Stir together soup, mayo, lemon juice & curry powder to make a sauce. Spray an 8" baking dish with cooking spray. Layer chicken & broccoli & then top with sauce. Make buttered bread crumbs by pulsing torn up bread slices in food processor. Pour melted butter over bread crumbs & toss to coat. Sprinkle sauce with grated cheddar cheese & top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350 until bread crumbs are toasty (about 30 minutes). Serves 4 (double the recipe to fit in a 9x13 pan)
(When I made mine, I baked the casserole & then added the cheese to the top & baked for another 5 minutes. Either way works.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a mini reunion of friends & their babes

On Sunday, I met up with some of my great friends from the good ol' days. We went through 6 years of girls' camp together, frequented concerts (Reel Big Fish, Yellowcard, Ataris, Aquabats . . .), sang & danced in Showbiz, partied it up at the Stake Dances, roomed together our freshman year at BYU, played night games in the park, raided vending machines . . . let's just say we had a blast together over the years!

Marisa holding Ruby, her husband Rob & daughter Fara, Emily's husband Jason holding Jane

Emily & I have been great friends since 8th grade, & wouldn't you know it, we ended up having baby girls born within 9 days of each other.
Emily & Jane, me & Ruby

Now all we need is Caitlin & her Olivia to join in. Then we'd have a complete set of roommates with their baby girls.

Love you ladies & babies. It was grand seeing you all!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Will turns 3!

Our little boy turned three last week! How is that possible?!! It amazes me how fast time is moving, & it just seems to spin faster & faster.

Since Scott had to work on Will's actual birth-day last Sunday, we postponed celebrating until Wednesday. We originally planned to take Will to different places around town to ride the train at the outdoor mall, play at the park, pick out a treat at a bakery . . . but once we got in the car, we changed our plans to make the day more out of the ordinary for him - we took him to the Sacramento Zoo (a first for all of us, & we had a blast!). 

Will ran from one thing to the next, making it difficult to even keep up with him. He was so excited to see all the many different animals. He finally settled down while sticking his head through the cardboard safari cutout b/c the train made its appearance while going around the zoo. He was enthralled by it, & had a look of such pure happiness on his face as it passed by.

As we prepared to leave the zoo, Will climbed up on a fence to look at some monkeys. I started taking some pictures (I know, even more - like I didn't already have enough) when he stepped down, lost his balance & fell backwards, smacking his head on the pavement. He was bawling, & when he finally calmed down enough to gasp some words out, he kept pointing at the cage & repeating, "Monkey hurt me. Monkey hurt me." How do you reason with a three-year-old that the monkey didn't push him or hit him, but that he just fell? It only made things worse that about a month ago, while we were downstairs in the kitchen, he heard a loud boom upstairs & got completely freaked out. He kept saying, "Monkey go boom upstairs." I don't know where this whole monkey fear came from, but he had nightmares for a couple nights following that. So of course it had to be monkeys he was looking at when he fell down & hurt himself. If only it could have been another animal. He still talks about the monkeys hitting him & making  him bonk his head. 

After leaving the zoo, we crossed the street to spend some time at Fairytale Town
(not nearly as cool as the zoo).

For Will's birthday dinner & dessert, we had Mickey Mouse waffles with whipped cream.
Talk about a happy kid! 

We had an awesome day celebrating Will's birth into our family. We are so grateful for him & love him more than we thought possible to love a child.

Happy Birthday Mister!