Monday, May 21, 2012

Five Things Worth Sharing

1. Several of you asked awhile back what eating plan I followed to lose 20 lbs a few years ago. I kind of forgot to mention it and quite honestly I've been loosely following it until I decide how exactly I want to modify my eating.  The book is called The G.I. Diet by Rick Gallop. I liked it because it was relatively simple to follow and wasn't super restrictive on what I could and couldn't eat.

2. I stumbled upon this fashion blog a few weeks ago and now I'm obsessed with it. I love her style and even though I can't see myself wearing some of it (let's face it, as a curvy girl I'm not super comfortable walking around in white pants) she's got a lot of great tips on there too about how to put together a look, how to score deals, etc.  Love it! So go check out J's Everyday Fashion.

3. Normally I'd save this for my book review, but I really, really love this new book I picked up at the library last week. If you're a fan of royalty or biographies, then you'll probably like it too.

It's called Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith.

4. I love, love shooting digital photos, but yesterday I was browsing around on and came upon a bunch of older Kodak Brownie models and started a search for one of them that seemed up my alley. An hour of research and a quick search on Ebay later and I am now the proud owner of this little number:

Since it takes a specific kind of film, it's a little pricey, not to mention the developing of the photos involves being sent to a special lab, BUT I think for special occasions or a certain kind of photo shoot, that it's going to be awesome.

5. I'm now a huge fan of IKAT, as in the print. Browsing around on Ebay I found this and promptly bought it, I think it'll be cute for this summer.  I must confess I've been buying a lot of my clothes lately from Ebay. I like the selection and although it takes a little searching, I can usually find a lot of great deals.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Christmas in May?!

Every spring I eagerly await for the new Hallmark Ornament Dream Book to come out. It actually went public a few weeks ago, but I've waited to share some of my favorite ornaments until now.

Favorite #1- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

I've been loving the fact, that for the past several years, Hallmark has been featuring my favorite Christmas movie in ornament form. This year's ornament is infamous Moose eggnog glass. It also has sound, so I'm eager to hear what clip it will be playing.

Favorite #2-  Beverly Hillbillies TV Theme

They actually started somewhat of an unofficial series of these TV sets that played the theme songs of various old television shows. Sean and I have the first two, The Twilight Zone and the Andy Griffith Show and then last year, there was no TV ornament. I was super psyched to see they brought it back this year.

Favorite #3- Vintage Toys

I love the vintage toy ornaments that Hallmark does each year. I'm super excited about this one, as I had this toy growing up. I'm pretty sure it's still somewhere at my parents' house.

Favorite #4 The Grinch

I try to get a Grinch ornament every year, but sometimes that doesn't happen. I'm loving this year's Grinch ornament and am putting it at the top of my to-buy list.

There are a TON of other cute ornaments, but I just featured a few. If you'd like to see the rest. Here's the link to Hallmark and the Keepsake Ornament page.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Supporting the Troops?

Clicking around on Facebook today, I keep seeing various pages popping up on my newsfeed that either friends have liked or have discussed.

I'm sure if you're a military spouse you've seen a few of these, pages where women "support" our troops by taking pictures of themselves in varying states of undress.  These pages have names like, "Vixens for Veterans" or "Booties for the Troops". There are literally dozens of these pages for every branch and all with equally ridiculous names and themes.

Normally, I just ignore these pages as ridiculous quests for attention, but today they really got under my skin.

I do NOT understand why the people that run these pages or the women that post pictures of themselves on these pages claim to "support the troops".  Please explain to me how exactly taking a picture of yourself in your underwear and slapping it on Facebook in a desperate cry for attention, is supporting the troops?

Really? I seriously doubt most of these women have ever been in a relationship with a military member and if they currently are, I have to question why exactly they'd be sharing a picture like that with the rest of the military community.  With all the ways to support the troops: care packages, letters, donations to foundations, volunteering, how exactly does your paltry contribution of a photo of your girly bits qualify as "supporting the troops?"

Instead, why don't you get out there and actually do something for the troops? I'd be a heck of a lot more impressed if there was a website where women took pictures of themselves writing letters or putting together care packages, then I am by these attention-seeking, lonely women who have to validate themselves by any means possible.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

March/April Book Reviews

Looking back, it appears I neglected to do my March book review, so I decided to combine March and April together.

In those two months, these are the book that I read:

23. Two Kisses for Maddy- Matthew Logelin
24. The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.-Sandra Gulland
25. The Dressmaker- Kate Alcott
26. The Eighty Dollar Champion- Elizabeth Letts
27. The Reading Promise- Alice Ozma
28. More Room in a Broken Heart: The True Adventures of Carly Simon- Stephen Davis
29. The Lost Girls- Jenifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, Amanda Pressner
30. Alice I Have Been- Melanie Benjamin
31. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty- Joshilyn Jackson
32. Bond Girl- Erin Duffy
33. Sarah's Key- Tatiana de Rosnay
34. Southern Lights- Danielle Steel
35. The Gilly Salt Sisters- Tiffany Baker
36. Maine- J. Courtney Sullivan
37. The Paticular Sadness of Lemon Cake- Aimee Bender
38. Snowflower and the Secret Fan- Lisa See
39. Sideways on a Scooter- Miranda Kennedy
40. Wanderlust- Elisabeth Eaves

Since I'm combining the two months, I'll go ahead and do a few more favorites, than my usual three.

1.The Eighty Dollar Champion

This book is about a horse, Snowman, that was rescued from being sent to the slaughter house. An enterprising,hard-working Dutch immigrant bought Snowman for $80 to use as lesson horse at the girls' school that he works at. After a series of events, it comes to light that Snowman is an excellent jumper. Snowman goes on to win the most important jumping competition in America several times. Nobody thought this old plough horse would be able to compete against some of the finest bred horses in the world and win. This book was heart-warming and I definitely teared up a few times.

2.  The Lost Girls

This book is about 3, late 20-something girls living in NYC who decide to put their jobs and personal lives on hold and travel around the world for one year.  Along the way they become like sisters, have their share of crazy adventures and meet lots of interesting people. It's not my favorite travel book that I've ever read, but it was still a good read.

3. Maine

I read J. Courtney Sullivan's first novel, but this book was so much better. This is probably my favorite book that I read in April.  The book follows four different women in the family and centers around their summer home in Maine. I loved the different characters and how developed they were. Definitely an awesome read.

4. Snowflower and the Secret Fan

I've read several of Lisa See's other books, but this has been my favorite.  It follows two young girls in China who become a kind of best friend/soul sister and follows them from the age of seven, through their adult lives and until their deaths.  The writing in this book almost reminded me of an Amy Tan novel and that is a very good thing.  I loved the book so much that I'm really wanting to see the movie. I just hope it does the book justice.

5. Sideways on a Scooter

This is another sort of travel book and it was my favorite of the travel-related books I read in these two months. Miranda moves to India for several years to try out her independence and work doing freelance news work.  She's explains her fascination of India that started as a young girl and it's interesting to see how her view of India changes in the years that she is there. I loved the descriptions of her friends and the various people she meets in her years in India.

Most Hated Book of March/April

1. Wanderlust

Do NOT read this book. I had high hopes for it as it was another book in the travel genre, but quite frankly, it sucked.  The book was less about travel and more about what drugs and various sexual partners this girl encounters in her travels through a span of about 15 years. Seriously, it got old really quickly. I'm not sure why she chose to focus on those particular aspects of her travel, as she was in so many interesting locations. I wish she would have elaborated more on them.  I am not alone in this review, as I checked out Amazon and she received many similar, scathing reviews on there as well.