Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lily's Books...

So I wanted to give everyone a better look at her books so far.  I have a few more I wanted to get already, but I would appreciate any recommendations for favorites.

This is the bottom shelf where the bigger board books go.  In case she is grabbing at them they are closer to the ground.  My two favorites on this shelf are: Olivia and Rise and Shine.

Here is the next shelf up and it's for smaller board books.  My favorites from here are: The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the Dr. Seuss books.

This is the next shelf up and there are a lot of good books on this shelf like: Zen Shorts, Goodnight Moon, Bob the Dog, Princess Baby Night Night, Owl at Home, Frog and Toad Together, Owl Moon, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Dr. Seuss books and the Golden Books.

This is the highest shelf and has the books I can read to her in the coming years or the ones with dangerous batteries that need my supervision to read.  They were all on great sales or I had them already, I'm not trying to plan years in advance lol.

Here are some of the favorite thin books you can't see on the shelf.

So, what am I missing for her collection?  What were some of the favorites from your childhood or from reading to your child?  Let me know!  :)

It's a girl!

So, I haven't been posting in a long time, because I have been exhausted from my pregnancy.  Who knew it was so tiring to make a person?  Lol.  I just wanted to update everyone on things on a personal front and then perhaps I can review some of the books I've been reading lately.  So, as the title of this post indicates: we're having a girl!  I'm so excited.  We've been having a ton of fun buying girly things finally and working on her room some more.   We decided upon her name as well: Lily Emmaline.  I've been spending lots of time trying to get her ready for the world, both on a conscious and a subconscious level.  The things I'm doing on purpose include: playing music for her, singing to her, reading to her and rocking my body (hopefully she'll like her expensive swing when she's here haha).  We've been doing so much to prepare her nursery as well.  I always loved watching interior design shows and looking at the magazines, but this is the first room I've ever designed on my own from top-to-bottom.  My awesome husband helped make all my ideas come to life as well.  He is so talented when it comes to DIY stuff!  So, anyway, here are some pictures for everyone!  I hope you realize my time has been well spent away from blogging, but I'm still around!

This is the ultrasound of Lily when we found out her gender at 19 weeks!

This is Lily's room so far.  We still need a few things like a crib skirt...

This is the other side of Lily's room and all her books so far!

Here is her awesome closet that Brian remodeled for her.  Hopefully it's enough space now!  And look at her cute tiny clothes!  <3

Okay, well I guess that's it for now.  I hope you're all doing well and having a great start to the new season!  :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blog About Your Dog Monday - June 27th, 2011

Today is the is Monday and that's the day to share some of my pet pictures!  I hope you enjoy looking at my silly dogs.

This is Tsukiko after she fell asleep with a ball in her mouth.  So cute!

This is Chanceux shaking off after taking a swim in the dog park pond.  <3
Both of my dogs are Plott Hounds and were rescued from local Humane Societies here in Colorado (Longmont and Boulder to be specific).  Tsukiko (the girl) is 2 and Chanceux (the boy) is 3 and they're best friends! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sass & Serendipity, by Jennifer Ziegler

Sass & Serendipity by Jennifer Ziegler is a new take on Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.  That is where my comparisons end between the two books, because I never read Sense and Sensibility.  Rain your shame down on me classical lovers, but I got through as many as I could in my lifetime and I really enjoy modern writing styles a lot more, so I'm sorry.  I can tell you how I feel about this book though and I thought it was really good.  It's about two sisters who are so different it's hard to believe they're sisters at times.  Daphne thinks everything in life can be better dealt with once she has a fresh coat of lip gloss on and Gabby doesn't even see the point of wearing lip gloss.  Gabby is serious, dedicated and ready to help her single mom with everything, be it the bills or trying to keep Daphne in line.  Daphne just wants to be a kid and misses her dad more than anything.  The divorce was hard on both girls and they've both taken very different views on the whole thing.  Daphne feels like an outsider in her own home and wishes she could just go live with her dad, but if not, she's definitely going to partake in some fun teenage activities like going to prom.  Gabby, on the other hand, can't believe how selfish her younger sister is.  They're struggling financially and Gabby almost hates Daphne for spending precious money on a prom dress when she hasn't even been asked to the prom yet.  Gabby wonders how her little sister can be so self-absorbed and inconsiderate and Daphne wonders how her older sister can be such a killjoy and a pessimist.  When their financial difficulties get even worse it's liable brings out the best or the worst from each sister and their relationship is put to the ultimate test.  Will they learn to meet in the middle or just drift farther apart?  I would recommend Sass & Serendipity to any fans of coming-of-age, books about family and sisters, romance, YA in general, Jane Austen (apparently lol) or stories about overcoming hardships.

Favorite things: the contrasting personalities of the two sisters, the love story which gave the book another layer without taking over completely, the name Mule (which is apparently short for Samuel and oh-so memorable), the descriptions (especially one of a pink dress that stands out in my mind), the lessons each sister were able to learn, the wildly different perspectives each one had on the same thing and the pace which kept me interested and allowed me to read this book rather quickly.

Criticisms:  the character flaws each sister were given were a bit annoying and frustrating to read about, some things seemed so obvious that I wanted to shout through the pages for the girl to notice and pay attention and I personally didn't like the cover that much. 

Overall:  5 out of 5 stars!  This was a nice change from the paranormal and fantasies I've been reading lately.  :)

Note:  I was able to read this book as part of an ARC tour in exchange for my honest review.  I did not pay for this book, however that did not affect my opinion or review in any way.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely is the first in a series about an interesting young woman named Aislynn and her unique ability to see faeries.  Her grandma has warned her time and time again about the dangers of faeries and Aislynn has had the chance to see for herself how cruel and dangerous they can be to one another.  Her only protection is that they don't know she can see them.  She does her best to stare through them and keep her expression even when she observes them injuring each other.  Aislynn just wants a normal life and when more and more faeries seem to take an interest in her, she knows she has to keep it a secret from her grandma or risk losing all her freedom.  She's almost positive that they've never caught her looking at them, but why would they suddenly start following her?  And why would they tolerate being around iron when it hurts them?  She thought iron could keep her safe, but now she knows that nothing can keep them away if they're determined enough, but she better find out why they're taking such huge risks to stalk her, before it's too late.  I would recommend Wicked Lovely to any fans of urban fantasy, paranormal, faeries, battles between good and evil, or YA in general.

Favorite things: Aislynn's strong personality, the great pace that got me to read this book in one sitting, the lead-in to the next book which wasn't a cliffhanger and still kept me intrigued, the plot that took on some characteristics of a fairy tale, the romance between Aislynn and her best friend Seth that felt realistic and not forced, the gorgeous cover and descriptive and flowing writing style of Melissa Marr.

Criticisms: the love triangle that developed was predictable and the behavior of the Summer King Keenan was rude which made him an unlikable character that seemed to have no redeeming qualities which only compounded my annoyance at the love triangle more.

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars!  This was recommended to me multiple times and I see why now, it was a great read and I've already started the next one.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm back!

I have returned!  I did not tell anyone I was leaving, but my husband had some time off work and we've used it as a working vacation, so I've been super-busy!  We've been preparing for the baby, doing upgrades around the house, visiting with our families, spending some time together for my husband's birthday and enjoying the warm weather!  I'm glad to be back and I missed all my blogging and reading too!  I managed to read two books in my free time, but I'm looking forward to finally writing those reviews, doing some memes and catching up with all my blogging friends!  I've missed you all and I hope you missed me too!  :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - Wicked Lovely

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading so we can share a bit from the book we're currently reading.  Right now I am reading Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr and I'm enjoying it a lot.  :)

"Whenever he came near, she could smell wildflowers, could hear the rustle of willow branches, as if she were sitting by a pond on one of those rare summer days: a taste of midsummer in the start of the frigid fall.  And she wanted to keep that taste, bask in it, roll in it until the warmth soaked into her very skin.  It terrified her, the almost irresistible urge to get closer to him, to get closer to any of the fey.  He terrified her."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Off Topic Post - Nursery Design

So, for most of you it is old news that I'm pregnant, but for anyone that didn't know, now you do!  My husband and I are very excited and have been working on the nursery ever since we decided to try and expand our family.  I actually got to help paint the nursery myself, which a lot of moms-to-be don't get to do since most kinds of paint release dangerous fumes known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs.  My husband has done all of the construction, installation and assembly and I've been the main decider of the colors, theme and items as well.  I just wanted to share some of the progress so far, because it's so fun and exciting to me!  I know since this is a book blog, a post like this might not be of interest to some of you, but hopefully some people enjoy checking it out!  :)

This is the nursery so far complete with the first tree decal we put up leaf by painstaking leaf.  Also there is the beginning of, what will one day be, an awesome bookcase filled with books!

This is the Fisher-Price Zen Cradle/Swing with a polar bear baby in it lol. 

This is the crib (minus the mattress obviously) and the second tree decal we put up.  Do you like the wind effect we did?  I think it looks awesome!

This is the beginning of the ceiling fan project that took my husband a bit more than a day's worth of work to complete!  The wiring was annoying and he had to add another switch...

And voila, a working fan and light, each operated by their own switch and the light has a dimmer now as well!  I heart it. 

Okay, well there's our work so far!  My husband, Brian, also added the frost coating to the French doors, painted the lock white, painted the closet and the doors a fresh-coat of white, added new door handles, installed the baby-proof lock on the sliding door, re-hung the curtain rod in a better spot and he's finishing up some floating shelves and a tiny stool he made as well!  I heart him to pieces!  :)  I hope you all like my ideas and his handiwork!