Friday, April 18, 2014

Fridays and Field and Stream

5 Things to Brighten Your Day
Despite the BS that May Get in Your Way

It's Friday, which is something to brighten your day all by itself!

1.  Bright sunny days.

2.  This too cute due date card pouch from Out of Print.

3.  Pictured above, the new issue of Field and Stream.  There are several funny things about this.  First of all, I don't subscribe to Field and Stream.  Somehow, we've been getting a gift subscription for well over a year.  But my dad hunts, so every time I see him I pass along the issues I have on hand.  This one strikes me as particularly funny because I think there's a good chance that my daughter could end up looking like the cover model if my dad has anything to say about it.  He's already shopping for a pink gun and bow and arrow set.

4.  Visits to the farm.

5.  Short work day.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Short Stories and Sharing

5 Things to Brighten Your Day
Despite the BS that May Get in Your Way

1.  It's Thursday, so that means Short Story Thursday!  Author Jacob Tomsky emails you one public domain short story every week on Thursdays.  I like to think of it as my weekly shot of high brow literature.  Most of the time the stories are rather bleak, but sometimes they are pretty funny or unusual.  Plus, Tomsky gives a commentary that is often plagued with profanity and sarcasm, so that brings the high brow literature right down to my level.  If you want to sign up, check out his website, but seriously, if profanity bothers you, check out a different blog.

2.  Thursdays are also my resistance training days.  It's just 10 minutes of hanging out with a grad assistant and chatting while doing some basic stretches, but it breaks up the morning.

3.  Want to know the best part about maternity pants?  There's no zipper so you never have to wonder if you zipper is down!  Just one less thing to think about.

4.  Potato chips and cottage cheese.  You might think this is a crazy pregnancy thing, but I've been using cottage cheese as a dip for my chips since I was like five.  It's delicious.

5.  Doug's reaction to the food in our fridge lately.  I've been buying lots of pre-cut fruit and random juice and other such things that I don't normally buy.  And Doug's been asking permission to eat or drink them.  Last week he even said "Wow, who's root beer is that?"  Um, ours.  It's our house, our fridge.  But he knows the rules of ownership in marriage:  What's mine is mine, what's yours is mine and what's ours is mine, so he asks.  I've assured him that he can have whatever he wants in the fridge though.

That's what's making me smile today!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Family Pics and Girls Night

5 Things to Brighten Your Day
Despite the BS that May Get in Your Way

1.  This picture of my mom holding my big baby belly.  Her seeing my baby belly for the first time this weekend was special like when my dad walked me down the aisle at my wedding.  

2.  Random old Regina Spektor song on the radio this morning.  I love a random happy song to start the day.

3.  Lucy and Tiffany girl's night!  Doug is tied up with meetings (because life is tough when you are saving the world one rural water treatment system at a time) so the dog and I will be enjoying non-stop Bravo tonight!

4.  Sunny skies and green grass.

5.  Root beer floats--it's the one thing this pregnant girl is craving.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Money Palms and Monkeys

5 Things to Brighten Your Day
Despite the BS that May Get in Your Way

1.  The money palm on my desk.  It's growing like crazy in absolutely no natural light with no water!  I'm taking this little beauty with me when I go on maternity leave.

2.  Facebook conversations with an old friend.  It doesn't matter how you tell someone how you feel as long as you say it.

3.  Snuggling in a big bed all by myself!  Or with my hubby, or puppy, or someday my baby.  Basically, I love my bed.

4.  The way Lucy runs into a room when you say banana.  Or just open a banana.  There's a reason why her nickname is monkey.

5.  Hugs.  That should make the list everyday.

Monday, April 14, 2014


I have this old GPS system, you know the one.  Every time you take a road or turn that the GPS wasn't expecting, it says "Recalculating" in that annoying robot voice.

Fun side note, the voice on our GPS is called Samantha, which really helps when you are angry at the GPS for not having an avoid-the-ghetto option.  It's much more effective to yell at Samantha instead of a little black box.

My apologies to my friend Samantha, but since I call you Sam, it's all good.

Another fun side note, our GPS was maced by sunscreen last year and doesn't really work anymore, but I needed the recalculating reference, so please excuse the fact that a) I have a non-functioning GPS, b) Samantha now sounds really wonky, and c) this post is going no where.

All this to say, my life is recalculating right now.  Some how the directions I was using got lost, or were wrong, and now I find myself in a totally strange situation.  Samantha is not helping me, rather she just keeps repeating "Recalculating".  I get it Samantha-I'm lost!

And when you're lost, you might turn down the radio so you can think and get yourself even more stressed out because frankly when you're lost and lonely, you need to be singing along to Ke$ha.  You can't take life seriously when you are sining along to Ke$ha.  So instead of metaphorically turning down the radio, I'll be cranking it full volume and enjoying the ride.  It's gonna get dark, it's gonna be a long detour, but eventually, I'll be back to normal.

Are you really still reading this?  If so, give yourself a pat on the back, because I'm actually reaching my point!

Instead of book reviews and librariany stuff I'll be posting my 5 Things to Brighten Your Day for each day, because despite being lost, this little pregnant lady needs to stay positive.  I honestly just won't have a lot of time for reading in the foreseeable future, which is a bummer, but that's okay.  Plus, I'm not sure that the epic battle of Dreams of Gods and Monsters is so appropriate right now.  I'm in a Liesl and Po kinda mood.

So, here's today's list:

Five Things to Brighten Your Day
Despite the BS That May Get In Your Way

1.  Pink Cardigan.  How can you seriously have a bad day when wearing bright pink?
2.  Green Tea….it's this pregnant girl's coffee
3.  Baby kicks.  I'm in that sweet spot of feeling the kicks without being hurt by them.
4.  Sleepy beagles.  Lucy is adorable when she's sleepy, mostly because it's hard to be muddy and loud when sleeping.  I'll probably feel the same way about my children.
5.  Family pictures.  We got some great shots this weekend and I promise to get them printed and framed soon.  I might actually become a picture person.

So, for the time being, check in and see what's making me happy instead of children's book reviews.  I'm guessing that more people can relate to random happy things than a 30+ year old reading children's books anyway.

Stay Happy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

But You Knew That Already

I interrupt this reading of Dreams of Gods and Monsters for an important announcement.  Well, it was important a month ago.  The results of the 2014 Monarch, Bluestem and Caudill have been released!  Now, let's see how I stacked up.

The 2014 Monarch Award Winner:  The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray
My Pick:  I Wanna A New Room by Karen Orloff Kaufman
The Verdict:  I didn't do so hot.  I gave Gingerbread Man 10-1 odds and 12 place in my bracket.  The rhyme didn't work correctly for me, and that's a major deal breaker.  New Room took the number 9 spot, which I find a little surprising.  I would say that mostly the books fell in the range that I thought they would as far as Top, Middle, and Bottom, with the big exception being the winner.

The 2014 Bluestem Award Winner:  Wonder by R. J. Palacio
My Pick:  Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The Verdict:  As far as the real winner and my pick, I wasn't that far off, but holy cow, I was dead wrong on almost everything else!  I thought the Bluestem would skew younger, which is why I had Wonder at number 3.  But Wonder benefited from what I deem The Older Sibling Effect--the older sibling is reading the book, so the younger reader wants to read it too!  But really all the great non-fiction or quicker chapter books that I thought would own the top half fell to the bottom.  That's something to remember for next year:  Bluestem readers are a savvy bunch.

The 2014 Caudill Award Winner:  Wonder by R. J. Palacio
My Pick:  Wonder by R. J. Palacio
The Verdict:  I didn't have to read all 20 books to know that Wonder was going to win (in fact, I only read three).  Wonder is the book of the moment, for very good reason too.  And seeing it win the Bluestem and Caudill, and countless other regional awards means that this is a book that is here to stay. Like I've said in the past, if students are reading it for fun anyway, it's a guaranteed win.

With the 2014 award season behind me, I need to start thinking about 2015.  I already did a little recap of my 2015 reading progress here, but just in case you want to jump to the master lists, check out the 2015 Monarch, Bluestem, and Caudill lists.

Happy Reading!

(I will now return you to your regularly scheduled reading of Dreams of Gods and Monsters)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Thought This Day Would Never Come

Just in case you are new here, my favorite book series is wrapping up today.  It's a bittersweet time, but I'm very exciting to get home tonight and tuck into Dreams of Gods and Monsters!  

Here's a round-up of posts leading up to this momentous occasion:

Impatiently waiting for Days of Blood and Starlight
Days Release Excitement
Days Review
Fan Girl Jewelry
Book a Vacation to a DSB Location
Night of Cake and Puppets Review
DSB Fan Girl
Impatiently Waiting for Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Dreams Teaser

Or, just click the Fan Girl label and you'll be led to all of my Daughter of Smoke and Bone related posts.

So far this day is living up to all of my expectations:  It's spring-ish outside, my five year wedding anniversary on Friday was lovely, I made it through three big work events in five days without punching anyone, I got to Skype (via sonogram) with my little biscuit who is growing every day, and my favorite book arrived on my Kindle at 11:48 pm last night without a hitch.  Had I known it would hit my Kindle before midnight, I would have waited up, but this little biscuit likes to sleep, so mama had to get to bed.  My husband was actually a little surprised that I wasn't going to wait up, like I might have in my younger days.

I'm afraid that this will be another slow week for posting, but at least this time it is because I will be reading myself into a tizzy, which of course I will then share with you.  It's seriously taking all of my will-power to not download this book onto my computer and spend all day reading covertly.  It will be hard, but I can do it!

Happy Reading!! (and if you're reading Dreams of Gods and Monsters, call me in two days and we'll discuss!)