Monday, February 28, 2011

Musing Mondays

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Musing Mondays. This week’s musing asks…

Which do you prefer: Adult -or- Young Adult books? Or, both? Why?

Maybe it's my age, but I haven't read young adult books since . . .  well, since I was a teenager. I don't suppose there is a reason why. I think once I began purchasing adult books, I never looked back.

Academy Awards Wrap Up

I must admit I'm glad awards season is over. I was completely underwhelmed by last night's broadcast - fashion-wise and show-wise. Nonetheless, here are my picks for best and worst dressed:

  1. Celine Dion - I loved this dress and cannot believe she gave birth to twins 4 months ago. Simple, stunning and elegant. Rock on Momma!
  2. Reese Witherspoon - She wins for little black dress of the night, with a touch of class.
  3. Natalie Portman - This may be the best-dressed pregnant woman at an awards show EVER. The dress, the earrings, it all worked.
  1. Cate Blanchett - This actually looks better photographed than it did on television. I still don't understand what's going on from the waist up.
  2. Nicole Kidman - The dress is horrible with the structure around her abdomen. And what is the deal with the shoes?!?
  3. Melissa Leo - This literally looks like my grandmother's doily.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekend Hops

Getting my weekend hops done early. Enjoy the weekend!


Just Married with Coupons

No Filter Friday

Just a few things getting my goat this rainy Friday:
  1. I'm not exactly sure what the dilemma is with Planned Parenthood, but getting rid of it is a bad idea. For many women, this is the only place they go for exams, birth control and someone to talk to. I realize it is also a facility where abortions are performed, but so are hospitals and we're not getting rid of them (I hope). I fear that if these locations are closed, women will be at risk for more pregnancies, std's, and home-spun abortions. So much for a progressive country . . .
  2. For any man unsure of what to get a woman for a gift (aka my hubby), jewelry is never a bad idea. Every time a holiday, birthday or anniversary comes along, I fear for what's underneath that wrapping paper. I realize the boys just got a Wii for Christmas, but I really don't want any games. Nor do I want dvds or blu-rays that I'll view only once. Books are a good bet, but only if you know what I want to read. When in doubt, buy me a pair of earrings or a bracelet.
  3. I wish celebrities would stop airing their dirty laundry on tv. For the love of God, keep it to yourself. It's bad enough I have to see Lohan and Sheen self-destructing on the news on a daily basis, I'm not interested in seeing David Arquette squirm while sitting in one of Oprah's chairs. Obviously, this guy has issues but is it necessary for the world to see how screwed up he is? Get yourself together, then talk about it later . . . much later . . . if you're so inclined. Watching that interview yesterday made me uncomfortable. I've said it before: some things are personal for a reason. Keep it that way.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Booking Through Thursday

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Booking Through Thursday. Here's this week's question:

All other things being equal–do you prefer used books? Or new books? (The physical speciman, that is, not the title.) Does your preference differentiate between a standard kind of used book, and a pristine, leather-bound copy?

I prefer new books but I belong to several book swaps so most of my books are used but in like-new condition. I won't accept books that smell like smoke or don't "look" good. I like the look of a book as it sits on my nightstand or bookshelf. Sounds petty because it's the words that matter, but I enjoy a nice facade.

Thursday Hops

It's a beautiful morning in the Northeast. Make it a great day everyone!

Acting Balanced


Thursday's Thoughts

Here are some thoughts rattling through my brain today:
  1. What is the deal with pirates? How am I living in modern day with pirates? I'm sickened by the fact that you can't sail around the world without fearing for your life not because of sinking, but because of pirates!
  2. I started weeding my front garden yesterday. It was only in the 40s but it was a beautiful day so I let the kids play outside for a bit while I pulled out whatever weeds had survived the snow over the past 2 months. It felt so good to get my hands dirty in the garden.
  3. I have a new project on the horizon. I'm going to revamp my family room. It's currently decorated in fall colors and I'm so tired of it. I want to spring it up and lighten it up. I'm going to change the curtains, the items on the fireplace mantel and maybe the lamps. I'm excited.
  4. I just love watching Sex & The City on E! every night. I miss that show, and I love New York!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here's my teaser:
She arranged her glass of wine and a thick novel on a chair beside the bath, and stepped gently into the hot water, with ten inches of bubbles on the top of it. But she did not read that evening.
~p. 48 "The Tea House on Mulberry Street" by Sharon Owens

Tuesday Hops

Finding a few more friends on this chilly Tuesday. Enjoy the day everyone!

Survey Junkie

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oh, I'm Versatile

Thanks to Tish at Lots of Fun With My FaMily for sharing The Versatile Blogger Award with me. Check out her blog when you get a chance.
Of course, the rules:

-Thank the person who gave you the award.

- Share 7 things about yourself.

- Pass the award on to 10 other versatile bloggers and let them know you did.

Now the real thinking begins. What to say about me that hasn't already been said . . .
  1. I love to watch House Hunters International. Since I don't travel anywhere, I live vicariously through this show.
  2. Holidays mess up my schedule. My routine is thrown off whenever hubs is home during the week.
  3. I'm thinking about repainting my family room but hubs wants to keep it as is. Dilemma!
  4. I don't listen to music anymore unless I'm in the car. I think I need some melody back in my life.
  5. Once I start cleaning, it's hard to stop. It takes me a while to get started, but that vacuum hose is my new best friend.
  6. I used to collect plates. I still have a collection of all different kinds - mismatched, dessert, holiday, colorful. I use them decoratively.
  7. I hate swimming in the ocean (Atlantic anyway). I have no idea what's swimming around my legs but it freaks me out.
Finally, I want to share the wealth with 10 fellow bloggers. Check out their sites, too:

Book Review: "The Great Pretender" by Millenia Black

The Great Pretender by Millenia Black

I didn't love this book. Honestly, I couldn't wait to finish it so I could move on to the next one. First, here's the official blurb about the book:

Do you really know the person you love? What warning signs are you willing to ignore? What can you forgive? In her smashing debut novel, Millenia Black puts a daring new spin on modern family drama by exploring its secrets and lies-as the perfect man comes undone by the consequences of a double life.

This sounded like it would be a juicy read, and at some points it was. It follows the sordid tale of Reggie Brooks, a man leading a double life with a wife and 2 children in one part of Florida and a mistress and another child in a different part of Florida. Reggie splits his time, every 2 weeks, between the two families. Apparently he spends 2 weeks out of every month with his mistress and their child. This has been going on for 10 years. Really? Ten years and no slip-up? That seems highly unlikely.

His daughters from the his marriage are resentful and acting-out. One doesn't speak to him and winds up getting pregnant, followed by an abortion, while the other gets a venereal disease. There's a lot going on in this book.

In the meantime, Reggie's wife starts up an affair with his best friend. Actually, his best friend starts up the affair with the wife to get back at Reggie for always being the guy who got the girl while they were growing up. Ugh - it sounds high school and it reads high school.

Add all this to the fact that the book is full of solicitous, explicit sex scenes that made me cringe as I read them. It's pretty hard to make me cringe. The other thing that bothered me was the 2 male lead characters names. Sometimes there were called Reggie and Frank. Other times they were called Reginald and Franklin. This really irked me as a reader. I'm not sure why the author did this but it was confusing at first and then just blatantly annoying.

The best part about the book was the ending. It wasn't what I expected and was, actually, quite surprising. There is no happy ending here for anyone, thankfully. That was the only redeeming quality about this book, at least that I could find.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lights Out?

I finally got some time to myself on Saturday and went to get my hair cut and colored. It was a blissful 2+ hours of much needed child-free time. I brought a book with me and got some serious reading done. I also had a chance to think, which might not be such a good thing.

As I sat in the chair getting 3 inches cut off my hair, a young girl came in to get a trim. Her hair was very short, kind of like this:

Admittedly, not everyone can wear this kind of cut. For years, my mother's been telling me I should cut my hair like this. Sorry, not for me. I prefer shoulder-length, at least. I asked my hair dresser what she thought about this kind of cut. She informed me this look was back in style. All the young ingenues were getting pixie cuts. She also told me this particular young girl waiting to get her hair cut was an artsy college student, and that look was "in" for that group these days.

I suddenly felt old. I looked in the LARGE, well-lit mirror in front of me and realized I looked old. Granted I was particularly tired yesterday having only slept 4 hours the night before thanks to baby boy waking me up at 4am, but even when I smiled those wrinkles (aka laugh lines - haha) appeared around my eyes. But I didn't feel like laughing.

When did this happen? How did this happen? This week will be my 42nd birthday and for the first time, I feel older than 21. Somewhere after marriage and 2 kids, I became an older woman. Even my clothes look old. I've turned into frumpy mom. But I used to be city chic. Is it living in the suburbs? Would a new address help me out?

In the midst of my anxiety attack, my hair dresser told me to go shopping after she finished coiffing my "old" new hair and buy myself some new fashion trend off the rack. That would pick me up. But it didn't. I did pick up a cute pair of black pants but I still came home depressed.

If I saw myself as old and tired, wouldn't everyone around me see the same? I know beauty comes from within. If you feel good on the inside, you look good on the outside. Maybe I need to find that spark inside and let it shine through. That's it! Maybe all I need is better lighting . . .

Weekend Window

Here's the view outside my back door this morning:
Despite 2 days of temps in the 60s, the yard still has patches of snow. At least the swing set is clear if the kids want to get some fresh air for a little while.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Call Me Cate from Show My Face is the host of Six Word Saturday. Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words.

Up since 4am - thanks baby boy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

No Filter Friday

It's a warm day here in the Northeast so I'm not feeling too agitated today. Give me a minute and I'm sure I'll come up with something. Oh, here we go . . .
  1. Why is every guy I knew/dated in high school and/or college fat and bald now? What happened there? Do men really think once they get married it's ok to let themselves go? It's not. I feel like I dodged a bullet when I see pics of them. At the same time I feel for their wives. Go for a walk and eat a carrot - jeesh!
  2. My new neighbors have 2 rather large dogs that bark and growl at every little movement outside their house. Did I happen to mention I have 2 little boys who love to go outside and don't particularly like dogs? Grrrrrrrr . . .
  3. People that drive slow make me crazy. I'm always behind the car or SUV that's taking their sweet-ass time when I'm trying to get somewhere. They drive slow when it rains, when it snows, when it's nice out. You have a gas pedal. Use it!!!

Let the Weekend Hopping Begin



Smart and Trendy Moms


Follow Along Fridays

A Mommy's Sweet Blog Design Friday Blog Hop

Friday Finds

MizB at Should Be Reading is hosting Friday Finds. What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

"On This Day" by Melody Carlson

"Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons" by Lorna Landvik

"Strange Fits of Passion" by Anita Shreve

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some New Hops Today

Type A Thursday


Thursday's Thoughts

Some random, ridiculous thoughts that occurred to me today:
  1. I like the hardwood floors so much in the boys' room that I want to pull the carpet in the master bedroom as well. I just hope my marriage can survive another project.
  2. I'm a huge proponent of school uniforms for kids. I believe it's a win-win all around.
  3. The older I get, the worse my PMS gets.
  4. I"m itching to take the boys to the Aquarium.
  5. As soon as it gets warmer out, I feel the need to be going somewhere. I have no idea where, just going . . .

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hump Day Hopping

Happy Wednesday! It's starting to warm up here in the Northeast - make it a great day!
Relax and Make Friends Blog Hop


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Aw, Shucks!

My new blogger bud Asha from Random Ramblings of an Agnostic Mom has deemed me interesting enough to create yet another list about myself as I accept this lovely award from her. Thank you, Asha, for enjoying my lists so much.

Here are the rules:

 1. Link back to the person who gave you the award.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Choose ten other bloggers you're currently following.

4. Let them know that you have passed this award on to them.

Now for the 7 things about me:
  1. I have a teaching degree that I never used.
  2. I hate any kind of fruit in my dessert.
  3. Chocolate is my go-to comfort food.
  4. I tend to lose my patience rather quickly.
  5. I don't have any pets now but I prefer cats over dogs.
  6. I miss wearing heels and dressing "nice."
  7. I don't think I'm going to my 25th high school reunion this spring.
Ok my fellow bloggers, I've chosen you to be the recipients of this award as well. Enjoy!
Falling Off a High-Heeled Life
Reasons to Skip the Housework
Kimberly's Scribbles
I am Not Superwoman
Extreme Personal Measures
A Mothers Ramblings
The Mom Road
Carrie with Children
Ninth Street Notions
Life & Times of a Self-Proclaimed Saucy Bitch

Tuesday Blog Hops

Back to some hopping today. Make it a great one!

Sippy Cup Mom

To-the-TOP Tuesday

Monday, February 14, 2011

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is hosting by MizB at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing (in honor of St. Valentine‘s Day) asks two questions, but you only need to answer one…

If you read romance novels, answer this question: Who are your favorite “romance” authors? Why?

If you do NOT read romance novels, answer this question instead: Do you read love-themed books in honor of Valentine’s Day? Or, Valentine’s Day books, specifically? If so, give us some examples! If not, why not?

When I was in high school, I think I read every Danielle Steele novel that existed. I've since given up on Steele but have read a few by Sandra Brown and Jennifer Crusie.

Grammy Awards Wrap-Up

Oh good Lord, what a freak show at the Grammy's. Painful to choose but this is what I managed to come up with:

Top 3 Best Dressed

1. Mya Beautiful, elegant and classy in ice blue.
2. Jewel Sweet and simple and 5 months pregnant. You go momma!
3. Selena Gomez Simple, elegant and chic.

Top 3 Worst Dressed

1. Nicki Minaj Really? What's with the leopard? And the hair???
2. Jennifer Lopez Way too short. What is she trying to prove anyway?
3. Ciara Is she a super-hero?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mars & Venus Pulling a Carpet

I've been married for almost 10 years, and the opposite sex still baffles me. Over the course of those 10 years, we've completed survived several home projects. Today we finished up our latest: ripping up the carpet from the boys' bedroom.

The original plan was to pull the carpet on Sunday. For some reason, known only to hubs, he started pulling it up Saturday . . . with the 1 year old in the room with him. That right there was enough to stop me in my tracks. Why are you pulling carpet with a child in the room? A. He's all over the room, how can you pull it? B. The amount of dust and dirt that gets generated from this task is E N O R M O U S.

So we get past the child being in the room by the child leaving the room in disgust, and I come to find a lot of the furniture is still in the room . . . uncovered. Why? Just why?

Hubs pulls the carpet but the padding was still underneath. As some of you know, the padding sort of disintegrates over time turning into a pile of dirt. This carpet has been in the room for over 10 years. So the padding/dirt mound is still on the floor and now hubs is taking a break. Ask me how long the break lasts. I'll tell you . . . 2 hours. Why take a 2 hour break? Why not just finish? I have no answer to these questions but I can say I was on the verge of a serious nervous breakdown.

After some serious huffing, puffing, yelling and head-shaking, the pad gets pulled up and the room is now mine to be cleaned. Wouldn't it have been easier if most, if not all, of the furniture was out? Easier if what was left in the room was covered with sheets? Easier if the children weren't in the house screaming to get to the train table that is in the room, uncovered?  You know the answer. I won't even waste my time writing it.

After several vacuumings, washings, and furniture moving, the room is back in order and looks great. I wish I could say we've learned our lesson when undertaking a project, but we haven't. Hubs still doesn't understand why I get so upset, and I . . . well, I just don't understand.