Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday with Shutterfly

I can't post what I got (presents my lovelies!!), but I loved me some Shutterfly today!  The amount of coupons, codes, shopping with Ebates makes Shutterfly so budget friendly and grants you a creative avenue!

Please check it out if you haven't!  It is a great way to find presents and memory keepers for yourself and loved ones:)

This link here will 101 FREE prints or a photo magnet:)

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Collector by Nora Roberts, Book Review

Book Summary: (per the authors webpage)
When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn.  Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one.
Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn't capable of violence--against himself or others.  He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened.  Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her.  But their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession.

My Thoughts:
How does she do it?  Everything I read by Nora Roberts I like (admittedly some more than others), but this one I liked on all fronts.  It has a strong female, a great cast of secondary characters, a dashing and strong male lead, action, romance, friendship, thriller, a little mystery and travel! 

The only thing I did not like is that the ending was somewhat predictable.  By the time the violent scene came at the apartment I was expecting it and just wondering when it would come.  Even that part was a bit obvious because when Lila and Ashton thought everything was over and Ashton left her alone for a few minutes is when the next drama occurred.

However, the scenes with the dogs had me going awww and laughing,  Dogs truly are amazing and heroes! I loved and enjoyed the the twist and happenings of the two best friends (did NOT see that one happening) and enjoyed the villioness in this story (though she did make me think of a character in Iris Johansens Eve Duncan series!)

Overall I enjoyed this book and was glad I borrowed it from the library.  I would recommend it for reading unless you do not enjoy books that have a somewhat predictable ending.

Important Links:

Where You Can Purchase:

Thanksgiving Thankful #23- 2014 ediion

Kindness of others is what I am thankful for today.  My dad is still going through pt at home and he was scheduled for a visit on Wednesday.  We explained how my dad and I always go to the Holiday Parade together and were hoping to not miss it this year since he will not be in the hospital (fingers crossed).

Well, our amazing pt person said not a problem, looked at his schedule and was able to stop by the house today and schedule the next appointment for Tuesday.  I am sure it was not, or at least hope it was not, a huge inconvenience and it might free up some time to spend with his family, but I am so grateful that he was willing to try, found a way and succeeded in helping my family in our holiday preparations while still caring for my father and ensuring he does not backtrack any on his path to better health.

Sunday Scripture

We are coming up on Thanksgiving this week and I must say I am so excited!  Holiday parade, Thanksgiving day, time with family, etc.

I am sad b/c I won't have my sister this year, but it just means it is a bit closer to her time to get here for Christmas with her fiance.

So today, as the last few weekends, my Sunday Scripture verse is about thanks!


Making the News- Weekly Roundup

So I love reading the news, watching the news and doing more research about topics.  I thought I would start to share some of the headlines that grabbed my attention on a weekly basis!  I do look at a variety of news sources, at times to see what is different if at all, at times just because I prefer different formatting.

Fox News
'I had promised': Obama to announce executive action on immigration Thursday in Primetime Speech
Islamic State recruiting, exploiting children in Syria and Iraq as spies, fighters
A look at the lives of 2 Indians, 4 Italians canonized by Pope Francis
Putin says he will not be president for life
US to grant refugee status to some Central American children

CNN
NC Governor open to immigration lawsuit against Obama
Sen. Lindsey Graham: GOP- led Benghazi report is "full of crap"
Why haven't we heard from the Ferguson grand jury?
Lawyer: Bill Cosby being vilified by "unsubstantiated, fantastical stories"

Time
Obama: Voters want "New Car Smell" in 2016
UVA Suspends Fraternities After Rolling Stones Article about Rape

Salisbury Post
Rockwell solar farm close to completion

Please share some news or stories that have been on your mind this week!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankful #22- 2014 Edition

My sister is the topic of today thankful post.  She is my big sister and someone who has always been there for me.  She has helped me with school, with job applications, when I am upset, sad or happy she is there.
Today I am blatantly thankful for her because of a kindness that she is giving to our parents and me.  I will talk more about that later, but her generosity and love of family deserves several mentions and so today my sister, Izzy to me, is who I am focusing on for my thankful post.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankful #21- 2014 edition

Change is what I am thankful for today.  The fact that things can and do change is sometimes scary, sometimes exhilarating and sometimes what is just the perfect thing that we need in our life.

Today something changed.  I got a phone call that hopefully means some good things are coming our way:)  Even if the change that happens isn't what I am hoping for, I am so grateful for the chance to reflect on so many items that came from this conversation!

Friday Funnies

Sorry I have been MIA this week, but no worries, weekend plans are to enjoy this gorgeous fall weather and take my Ipad with me so that I can get some Vitamin D and update my thankful posts, book reviews, movie reviews, etc.!  Have a blessed and fun filled weekend:)



Because who doesn't love dancing, singing and happy monkeys, babies and cats?  Really though..who?


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankful #20- 2014 Edition

The gift of reading.  I am so appreciative and thankful for books and the gift of reading every time I pick up a story, read a blog, see a poem, etc.  When I was a child I was put in the group that had trouble reading/learning.  I remember being so upset about this and going home crying.  After that my parents and sister would always be sitting with me and having me read to them.  Sometimes note cards, the bible, menus, highway signs, etc.  You name it I read it.

This family effort had me reading and in the fast group in a short time span...and as they say that is all she wrote.  After that I have always been known as a reader, someone with a book, need a book ask a suggestion.

Beyond reading for pleasure though this ability to read has led me to have an amazing education, meet new friends, travel around and not get too lost..(I still get lost no worries, but I usually can find out where I am!!) To this day my favorite thing is to cuddle up on a couch, bed, chair, floor, grass, etc. with a warm blanket and just read the day away.

Do you have any favorite reads?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankful #19- 2014 edition

I am thankful for great tv shows.  Silly yes, relevant most certainly.  Every Wednesday I am so excited b/c...not b/c it is hump day, but because it is Criminal Minds day!
Admittedly I am a scaredy cat, but there is just so many things about Criminal Minds that I love, that it is worth the potential scared out of my mind feeling.  Thankfully, normally I am like that is messed up rather than oh my goodness every light needs to be on for the next hundred years.

the cast...just perfection.  My favorite characters are Derek Morgan, Dr. Reid and JJ, while I laugh at and enjoy the others my favorites are the ones already listed!

the storyline...crazy goodness.  How do the writers come up with some of these.  The episode with the bugs (eck), the spin on how Hodge's wife died (yikes), Derek's background as a child (holy strength)

Now I am thankful for this show because it is amazing, brings something to look forward to each week but also because it is a rare time that my parents and I sit down together and enjoy a show as a family!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankful #18- 2014 edition

Today I am thankful for our vehicle.  We drive older cars and normally they run great.  But somehow both cars went to side of being sick the last few days and we are having to get them fixed ASAP.

Not having a car and not being able to leave or go where I want when I want is such a silly thing to be anxious over, but having one car fixed and able to run errands again makes me extremely thankful for the cars that we have.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankful #17- 2014 Edition

Today I am thankful for my mom.  She is such a vital part of my life and I cannot imagine her not being in it.

I won't deny that we butt heads occassionaly, but she is always there for me and always ready to talk or have fun.

Love my momma and extremely lucky to have her!

AM wake up call

Some mornings it is not about the beat or the fast lyrical music that wakes you up, but rather songs that speak to you and can move you.  I was feeling in a more reflective mood today so I kept these two songs on repeat..so good!

Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood
How Great Thou Art by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Scripture

Another Sunday in November and another amazing bible verse to say Thanks to God.  I hope everyone is enjoying this time of year, time to reflect on our blessings and focusing on all that is good rather than our struggles (though many time the struggles are what brings us to the good..right?!?!?!)


Thanksgiving Thankful #16- 2014 Edition

The service industry is a much discussed, often utilized and very under appreciated force.  Today I am incredibly thankful for the service industry, especially a lady in the retail section at Belks.  I had to go shopping today for myself (something I NEVER enjoy) but she was so nice, knew her product, helped me find exactly what I wanted and in a very efficient manner.

Even at checkout she was helping me find coupons, codes, explaining how specials worked there, potential Black Friday sales (couldn't guarantee but spoke of past options), etc.  She turned something I was dreading into what was a very educational and mostly pleasant experience.

I for one know that I will be returning to that Belks and looking for that sales woman because I was incredibly impressed and appreciative of her time, knowledge and assistance.

~~
*I am currently looking for a way to send a note to her manager or that office so that they can know what a superstar she is, if anyone knows how to accomplish that with Belks please let me know!

**Did you know they have a Bra club card where when you buy 6 bras you get one free? Yup I sure got one of those babies!**

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankful #15- 2014 edition

We have seen two of my three girls already this month, so this thankful post is for my oldest and first chihuahua...Rosebud..aka Rosie..aka My Princess...aka The Guardian.
I have had this little fox in my life since September 2009.  She was born on June 7, 2009 and has been a bundle of love, quirkiness and protectiveness ever since.  I remember seeing her running around with her brothers, carrying her home in my arms, she snuggling in my purse when I went to surprise my mom with my new little baby!
She gives the best snuggles, knows when you might need a hug, always comes to say good morning, has an adorable tail wag, loves my family and is all around pure amazing.  I am blessed to have her in my life and can't imagine not making the decision to bring my Rosie Bear home!!



Friday, November 14, 2014

Shutterfly Love

With technology today there are a plethora, a stupendously amazing amount of sites to go for great photo gifts, projects, etc., but I must say that Shutterfly remains the top one to me.

At times their products can be a bit pricey, but if you do a price comparison they are on point AND they are always offering amazing coupons, discounts, etc.

I won a Shutterfly product from a McDonald's Monopoly card this year and when I went to place my order (super simple and fun BTW) I was given a code to share so I am posting it here!

This, I believe, is 10 free cards for anyone who has not signed up with Shutterfly.  If you haven't please check it out!  I store my pictures there (for free) and it also makes it super convenient to create my projects/gifts when I am able because the pictures are already organized and at the ready!

I can't post what the product is because well Christmas is on the way and it will be a present for someone, but it is beyond adorable and I love it:)  But I will post a copy of the Xmas card that I created for our family this year:) (My sis and I are not on it b/c I don't have a current as in 2014 picture with her and me and our parents)
Aren't they all adorable?? love love love!!

Happy Shopping and finding great coupons!

Here is the link to check out and get the 10 free cards!!! Invite

Thanksgiving Thankful #14-2014 Edition

Snuggle weather!!  I am so thankful for cool weather that is a bit chilly and cloudy so that I can snuggle under my quilt my mom made with the help of my Great Grandmother or my UNCW blankets with my little furbabies:)

This is not what mine looks like, but I love the UNCW color and logo on this blanket!
Another blanket that looks amazing, but is one the pricey side of life!

Chilly weather is also the start of hot teas, chili's simmering at home, fall scents, etc. and I love it!  It brings about physical and scent based reminders that we are in the fall, near thanksgiving and create such scenes of beauty that one must stop and reflect on their day, their blessings, etc.




Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankful #13- 2014 Edition

Today I am thankful for the medical industry.  I have posted before about my father's struggle at times with health, but each time I am blown away (for the most part) by the caring, proficiency and empathy the medical community has to offer.

This post is because at times working with/dealing with some medical offices can be a struggle, but then you interact with an office (such as dad's primary doctors and specialists) who just are FANTASTIC.  They go out of their way to schedule appointments, work with other doctors, insurance, family members, etc.  It is their caring and follow through (along with crazy smarts) that I do credit a great deal to my dad's continual upswing in health.

So if you are a nurse, pa, doctor, receptionist, schedule coordinator, tech of any kind, etc. please know that you can and do make all the difference to us family members and people handling disease or injury.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thanksgiving Thankful #12- 2014 edition

Today I am thankful for.....get ready....COUPONS!!!

Admittedly I am still new to couponing so I have no claim to fame of extreme couponing, but I must say there is something fantastically great about getting to the register seeing one price, presenting your coupons and seeing that price plummet!!  So good. (Though it might make you want to go buy more..but resist!)  It has created many times where my family and I can try new products, get some products we needed but maybe had not budgeted for, etc.
I currently only get coupons from the Sunday paper, but it is because when I find them online they print weird and I can't get the bar code to show up.  So if you have any ideas please let me know!

Where do you get your coupons?  Have your found a way to shop with them and make the savings go further?  Please share any tips of the trade if you will:)

Risking It all for Love, Book Review

Book Summary:(Per Goodreads Summary)
Clean Romance with a humorous bite!

Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica Mason and her hometown of Snow Valley, Montana with all its awful memories have NOT been compatible. Running away to New Orleans on a ballet scholarship, Jessica cringes when she thinks about confronting Pastor John and the community church--she doesn't want to talk about God, not after He took Michael, the boy she was going to marry ever since third grade.

In the local scene of funky New Orleans, Jessica seeks out Madame LaBlanc, hoping Michael will absolve her of her guilt the night of the car accident in a seance, but the spirit world is silent and she fears the grief will drown her.

Finally succumbing to family pressure, Jessica reluctantly returns for Christmas - and the little town of Snow Valley does Christmas BIG. When she visits Michael’s grave in the church yard, Jessica is shocked to meet handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. No, she is NOT going to be attracted to someone who wants to be a preacher! Definitely not compatible! But James Douglas is unlike any minister-in-training she's ever met. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down.

Can Jessica forgive herself for that terrible, fateful night? Can she take another risk on love?

A fast-paced romance with humor, family dynamics, Christmas, and kissing.
 

My Thoughts:
A very quick and easy read though at times a bit jumpy between scenes/activities.  I enjoyed this story and was invested in the characters by the end of the story.  I would have enjoyed the story more if it was drawn out more and gave more information on the interaction between Jessica and James Douglas.

The author does a great job building the setting through descriptive words and scenes.  The book flowed in a direct  manner where I was not left wondering, but was quickly learning about what both characters endured to bring them this sadness and eventual bond.  The reason I said the book should be more drawn out is the story line discusses how Jessica had missed a lot, touched briefly on what seems like humorous times in New Orleans (especially with the Madame), struggles as a dancer, etc., and with the ease that the author was telling this descriptive story I wanted to learn more about these side thoughts/comments.

Overall this was a good read, but I did feel it could use a bit more development so that it would be a great read.  I enjoyed it and have mentioned it to some friends who were looking for a new read, but I would love to see another story with the same characters that goes into more depth or something to answer all the side stories of this book.

Memorable Quotations:
“I’m James Douglas,” he introduced himself, and then paused while I mused on the idea of whether a true stalker would give his true name. “What’s yours?” he asked next, despite the fact that I hadn’t made any kind of a welcoming gesture.
I continued to retreat closer to the sidewalk hoping it wasn’t covered in slippery ice. “Um, just call me the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

Could I do this? Did I have the courage? Could I let go of the past?
A voice whispered in my ear. Yes, you can. Oddly, the voice sounded just like Michael.


Whoever is praying for snow, please stop.
My heart felt as though it had stopped. “I feel so cold,” I whispered. “Sometimes I feel so dead inside.”

Important Links:
Author
Twitter
Goodreads

Where you can purchase:
Amazon

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

DevaCurl Ultra Defining Get, Beauty Review

I received this as a sample from a Sephora purchase a while back, but only recently tried it.  I have naturally very curly, coarse and thick hair.  I have been growing it out for locks of loves or some hair donation charity and have been trying to find ways to manage my very thick and curly hair.
My go to product is Redken, but I was excited to try something from DevaCurl since my hair stylist mentioned them to me as another brand that works well with very curly hair.  I still want to try their special towel and some other items, but I must say for this gel I am conflicted.

I have used this gel 5 times. 2 times I loved it, 2 times I was ambivalent and 1 time I wanted to go wash my hair immediately after it was dry. (great feedback right?)

What I have found is that this is a great product, but it truly is one where the instructions need to be followed to a t.  Now, the instructions aren't hard, it is just different then I normally have done with other hair products to tame my lions mane.  If followed perfectly, I enjoyed this product, but only for 2 days.  This became a product that I could not retain volume in my curls, especially at my roots, on the 3 or 4 day hair. (For those dealing with frizz trust me..not washing my hair everyday and relying on dry shampoo has been a game changer!!)
Overall I liked this product, but not enough to stop using my living proof or Redken curl enhancing products.  Those products last longer in my hair and I do not have hit or miss successes with them.

Do you use Devacurl? If so what products and suggestions do you have?  If no what products do y'all use to keep those curls looking right?

Thanksgiving Thankful #11- 2014 edition

Today is Veteran's Day here in the great ol USA!!  I am so thankful for our armed forces, those who have served, are serving and will serve in the future.  The sacrifices they and their families make are at times tremendous and I hope we all are so appreciative of them.

America is a great nation with a lot of privileges and rights that are kept safe by the men and women in uniform.  So today thank you to all who protect me, my loved ones and this great nation!  Especially, I want to thank my Paw Paw and other relatives that have served.  Your honor and stories are moving and very appreciated:)

PawPaw (our veteran) with three of his children!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Of the day- Mani Monday

I love nail polish, but I am not the most steady at putting it on.  Lately I have been improving and then received some JamBerry nails to try as well.  So tonight my mom and I had a little session of laughing and doing our own nails:)

I enjoyed the JamBerry print but didn't want it on all nails so I used it as an accent nail.  Super easy to use and super fun to see how it changed my Julep nail color which was creamy and gorgeous as usual!

Just my Julep color in Vera
Both hands with Julep in Vera and JamBerry Birds of a Feather as accent nails

What are your favorite nail colors and brands?  Tips and tricks to improve my steadiness while I paint or colors I  must have from JamBerry?

Thanksgiving Thankful #10- 2014 edition

I am thankful for this bundle of joy, loving, crazy, adorable bug that I call my Tator Tot.  Her official name is Ms. Taylor, but my family and I call her tilly taylor, ms. tilly, tator tot, baby bear and few others.  She is the youngest of my chi's but she is also the most loving and humorous.  I know all my girls, other animals and family were just fine before she joined our family, but the joy and love that she brings to so many situations has done nothing less than enrich our lives on a daily basis!


I am blessed with my three girls and while thankful for all of them, this morning it was this little bear who got to me first for her belly rubs, kisses and kibble demands!

Apps that I am Loving

I have had an I-phone for the last 3 years and I love it for many reasons.  One of those reasons is the plethora of apps that I can find, enjoy and utilize for a variety of reasons.  Gaming, social media, organization, etc. you name it there is an app for it.  So this post is about the apps that I am currently using and loving.

Entertaining Apps
 *I have the basic apps that I feel many of us utilize such as: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and Youtube
Fitness Apps
*Apps that I check or use everyday are: MyFitnessPal, Water tracker, P Tracker, Fitbit,
Random Apps
*Apps I enjoy, but do not use everyday are: Audible, Jellies, Podcasts, Facetime
Savings Apps
*Wal-mart Savings Catcher, Checkout 51, Targets Cartwheel, Shopmium, Ibotta, GasBuddy and Walgreens.
   *I will do a post in a while about how I utilize these apps, as well as, other webpages and items that I have found and use to help save money.  Even earn money in some cases!!
Other Apps
*Starbucks, Calendar, Ibooks, Home Security
What are some apps that you are using or think are a must have for others?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Of the Day- Lippie

Today I just felt like playing with my lip colors and came a bit a closer to getting that red lip.


Products I Used:

My Thoughts:
I  loved the moisture level, but I did not like that the color would not stay on my lip.  For the first time I had color on my teeth which was not fun. So I need to try it again with some lip liner to see how that works!

Warning! You Might Fall in Love with Me!!, Book Review

Book Summary (Per SwoonReads)
Didi. A girl from the other side of the tracks.
Caleb. A rich boy in desperate need of a fake girlfriend.
They meet after he saves her from jumping off a cliff.
The proposal: Accompany him to all the parties he must attend for the summer. He is willing to pay her for her time.
The condition: She must not, under any circumstances, fall in love with him or their relationship ends.
She accepts, but with a stern warning for him: “You might fall in love with me.”

My Thoughts:
At first I was hesitant to read this book because of the summary.  Based on the warning I was thinking this was similar to Nicholas Sparks book "A Walk to Remember."  While the premise of two teenagers having a relationship is obviously in common between the two books that is where the rest of it deviates.

Kate Evangelista does a great job of building these characters and showcasing the issues that both are facing.  She does this while also showing the depth of the other secondary characters and what they are experiencing.  Even after reading this book I have questions about what was the twin sister really in rehab for, why was ___back in town, what is going on between ____ and ____, etc.  I enjoyed the details in the outfits, events, feelings and conflicts.  I loved the gentle slide into the relationship and I adored the ending.

The ending...oh I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I did.  At first I was in shock because while the issue of mental illness was lingering throughout the story, but towards the end of the book the illness was more prominent in the storyline and it through me for a loop.  I had heard about some of these issues, but the writing of the symptoms, details, what the character was dealing with AND how that actually tied into other character dilemmas was raw, open and quite moving.  The way the book ended was quite cute and a fantastic tie in to previous parts of the book.  The descriptive way that Kate E. writes allowed me to truly see the characters, places and events in full color.

I have never read a book, until this one, where I felt I could see and really realize what living with or loving someone who has a mental illness might entail.  I highly recommend this book and look forward to starting the next book that involves one of my favorite characters from this book...Nathan!

Important Links
Author
Twitter

Where you can purchase the book:
Book is available at SwoonReads for free! Quite a steal:)

Thanksgiving Thankful #9- 2014 Edition

Today my thankful contemplation is for my faith.  My entire life faith has played a role in what I was learning, doing, experiencing, etc.  At times I did not exhibit my belief openly as in I was not attending church, going to small groups, etc., but at no time did my faith go away.  It may have shrank in its prominence with the standard questions of why, why me, why now, why this, etc., but at no time did I reject my faith.
I am thankful that I have had my faith during my dad's illnesses, my uncertainty about employment, health and other issues.  Today, on the Lord's day, I want to reflect and thank Him and just be thankful for my faith in God and all his blessings.


Sunday Scripture

Staying in theme of giving thanks and reflecting on what/who I am thankful for this month, it seems fitting to keep all scripture posts about giving thanks or being thankful.  I have never read the bible in its entirety, but I am still very pleasantly surprised at the abundance of bible verses that discuss thanks, thankfulness, etc.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Solstice, Book Review

Book Description: (Per the Author)
Four ways to get Banished from the last surviving city on earth are: 1. Cut out your emotion tracker. 2. Join a religious cult. 3. Create a rebellion against the Legislature. 4. Fall in love.

Jezebel James does all four.

Jez is on the fast track to becoming a brilliant scientist with one goal--to save her city from total extinction.  Her caretakers have entrusted her with a secret plan to stop the rain from flooding the rest of the earth and start civilization anew.  But the more Jez learns about the price of a fresh beginning the more she realizes that carrying out the plan will lead to few survivors, and among the dead will be those she cares about the most.

My Thoughts:
Jane Redd is a pen name for Heather Moore, who is a USA Today bestselling author.  She submitted this book into a contest under a pen name.  I generally do not look for stories of this genre, but when I do read them I enjoy them, until I get pissed off over which characters die in the quest to improve society. At the end of this book, I was not pissed off over anything of that nature, but I was bummed to not have a conclusion.  The end of this book shows that there is a book 2 titled Lake Town.

Now with that being said, there is a great deal of things that I enjoyed tremendously about this book.  The writing style is superb.  The author created a society and world that had depth and that I could envision as I read.  The story moved slowly at first, but as the characters and world developed I saw that it needed to in order for the reader to really grasp what the levels, citizens and water logged world really looked and felt like.  The interweaving of the sun and solstice into the story line and emotional health of the citizens was genius in its delivery.  When I first started reading it I could not really see the importance or tie in to a solstice since everything discussed was rain, cloudy, etc., but as the story progressed the tie in became more clear and more relevant.

As I read the book I slipped more and more into this society and Jez's life.  I appreciated her going back and forth while she tried to control her emotions and figure out what to do, who to trust, etc.  I loved the development of all the characters and not just hers.  This was a story that was different from other books that discuss end of the world situations in a variety of ways.  It was feasible to see how society might try to function this way if something this extreme and catastrophic occurred.  In other books of this genre I never understood the potential of certain events happening, but here if all the world does become separated due to water and not enough land mass, it does make one wonder how people would survive.

As I mentioned above, I did not enjoy finding out there was no conclusion but more of a continuation at the end.  I feel that this is a compliment though because my mind was like "What! How does __and ___know each other", which is actually something I questioned while I read the book since Jaz mentioned some similarities.  So yes, not a fan of not having some answers about the key, her decisions, what happens next, etc., but I will most certainly read book 2 and I hope to be able to read it soon as I found this book a easy and enjoyable read.

Important Links & Information:

Where You can Purchase:
Currently free so you can enjoy the book over at Swoon Reads(This book is in a publishing contest sponsored by Macmillan. Help it get published by reading and rating the story)

Thanksgiving Thankful #8- 2014 edition

Today my thankful is about music.  I love, enjoy, embrace, live for all that music is and encompasses.  Music enables us to remember events, feelings, memories with just the start of a tune or beat.  It brings people together in conversation and activities.  I have cds, playlists and videos that all remind me of people and events.  That music can aid us in holding so many things dear and clear is just mind boggling to me.  As part of this post I am posting several of my favorite YouTube videos of songs that I enjoy.
Carrie Underwood w/ Vince Gill~ How Great Thou Are
Pitch Perfect ~ Bellas Final
Sister Hazel- All for You
Christina Aguilerra ~I'm a Good Girl in Burlesque
Taio Cruz-Like a Star
Best Little Whorehouse in Texas- Hard Candy Christmas

Noah, Movie Review

I was not sure what to expect from this movie and due in a large part to what many had posted on Facebook and other media I did not watch this movie until this week.  So many people were trashing this movie and discussing how it did not mirror the Bible.  While watching this movie, that deviation from the Bible should have been apparent from the beginning, but I saw that as a positive and then just enjoyed the movie as entertainment rather than a lesson on the bible in current media presentation.

Pros
*The actors portrayals of the characters, their struggles in following Noah, God, accepting the visions,etc. were believable.  The struggle that Noah faced over the decisions was quite tangible.
*The graphics and messages were quite mesmerizing.
Cons
*Some of the jumps were a little to extreme for me to follow in terms of time gaps and how some activities took place.
*The middle child's relationship, storyline and actions were a bit trite and easy to guess.

Memorable Quotations
Ham: Is this the end of everything?
Noah: The beginning, the beginning of everything.

Noah: Ham. What are you doing?
Young Ham: It's pretty.
Noah: You see those other flowers? How they're attached to the ground? That's where they should be. They have a purpose. The sprout. And they bloom. The wind takes their seeds and more flowers grow. We only collect what we can use, and what we need. Do you understand?


I do not have many pros or cons because this movie was not great but it was not bad.  It was a solid almost sci-fi type movie that had a religious slant.  I think if it had been marketed that way (i.e. showing the watchers in the preview) it would have had better reviews.

Have you watched it? What did you think?