Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Challenge Update #3

I am two books ahead of schedule so far and I have read some good books this past month.

Switched (Trylle #1) by Amanda Hocking  • GoodReads Amazon

I really enjoyed this book. I heard about it from a friend who said it was about trolls and I knew I had to read it, but it is not what you expect when you think trolls. The beauty in this book is not what I expected and the mini-series at the end made we ant to read a whole story from that P.O.V. I just need to get off my hiney and download book 2.
♥♥♥1/2 out of 5

The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking by Kate Payne   • GoodReads Amazon

I was hoping this could help with decorating, gardening and general homemaking, but it just seemed preachy to me. Now I will say some of the advice was good but it is mainly for people in bigger cities, living in apartments not people like me who are in a small town with lots of yard and space between neighbors living in a house. When I was in college living with my parents I had the cinder block book shelf but living 'on my own' with my husband I do not think that would work too well. I also understand the importance of going green but Kate is  shoving it down your throat in this book. I get that chemicals are bad, and that cooking things from scratch are healthier for you, but not everyone has the time or energy to do so. I work 45 minutes away from my house which I know is not the longest some people have to commute but with a husband who does not eat lunch (unwinnable battle trust me I have tried) by the time we get home at almost 6 he is starving and does not want to wait for me to make everything from scratch. I will on the weekends make homemade lasagna, or other meals that require lots of time to prepare and that is usually the most delicious meal but on weekdays we (HE) wants quick easy meals. The saving grace of this book was the last chapter, she talks about having get-togethers and how we should continue to learn and grow which is something I believe in. 
♥♥ out of 5
Stone of Tears By Terry Goodkind   • GoodReads Amazon

I am so glad I picked this series up. The new characters introduced in this book were incredible. I felt Richard's hate for some of them. Grach is one of my favorite parts of the whole book, and Scarlet too. I love how he shows his compassion by the way he treats animals and is a protector for them. I thought for sure i was going to be angry at the end of the book but it turned around into a happy ending that makes me want more. 
♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind   • GoodReads Amazon

Oh my goodness so many feels! I was on the edge of my seat, I was fearful for the characters, I literally laughed out loud, and just so many feels. The mord-sith and Grach are becoming my favorites. Zed still cracks my up though. Kahlan is such a beast, she is amazing in her talents. I wish I could read the prophesies they talk about, but that may ruin the books for me. I am so ready to jump into the next book. 

♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5 

Work Hard. Be Nice. by Jay Mathews    • Good ReadsAmazon

This book is about the KIPP schools and the two teachers that made it happen. It was an okay book, to me it seemed to jump around a bit. It would talk about what was happening in 2004 and in the next chapter discussing the weeks the guys were signing up for Teach for America in 1992. I was impressed by what the guys were able to accomplish and how well the schools are doing but the book could not hold my interest, I forced myself to finish it. I think I was able to get a few good tips for when I become a teacher but all in all just an EH kind of book about a really impressive set of guys and what they built. 

♥♥ out of 5 

What are you guys reading right now?

Previous challenge update posts: January - February

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Motivation - Journal Day

Here's this week's prompt-  

Everyone has different things that keep them going. Sometimes it's the people around us, other times it might be what's waiting for us on the other side of hard work. Whatever it may be, there's usually some sort of motivation to get up every day, get things done, or maybe even go the extra mile. With that said, what would you say is your biggest motivation in life? Has it always been this way? 

I had to really think about this one but it all honestly it is easy, my motivation is my family. I want to be a teacher because of my siblings. I want to have a career for my husband and our future family. I work on our house to have a beautiful, safe house for our future family to live. I think that most of what I do is for my family in some form or fashion. In the past I was not like this I was more concerned about my boyfriend or what I thought people wanted but then I realized that none of them matter as much as my family. The straw that actually broke the camel's back on that was when my boyfriend at the time wanted me to go to Houston for college when my step-mom was pregnant with my sister Blake, he put me in a position that made him more important than my family so we broke up and I stayed local for college to spend time with my family.

Friday, March 21, 2014

March Crushes

Zooey Deschanel and the show New Girl! A girl after my own heart here!

This beautiful Mod Cloth Dress

This image is beautiful and the drink sounds so tasty!

This video from 10secondsongs. I wish I could sing like that!

•These beautiful sea creatures make we want to go on another cruise and go snorkling. I miss swimming in clear ocean. I love Texas but the beach near me is too murky. Here

• This video/article make me have so much faith in humanity. I am so happy I found this 

• Emma made these delicious looking Jalapeno and Cheese Biscuits 

• Bringing back the cute animals with this buzzfeed post. The little babies are so cute!!!

What are some things you are enjoying this week?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Daily Challenges - Journal Day

Here's this week's prompt from Something Sweet-  

We all encounter challenges on a daily basis. You may consider yours something small, like having enough time in the day to accomplish everything you set out to do, or it may be a bit bigger- perhaps something you have to overcome mentally or emotionally, or even a struggle when dealing with a difficult person. Whatever the case, take a look at your daily life- what would you say is the biggest challenge you deal with? Or if you have a past struggle you were able to overcome, how did you do it? This week, write about a challenge you currently deal with on a day to day basis, or discuss one you managed to get past.
 If I were to be 100% honest the biggest challenge I deal with is pure laziness. It is true that I have stomach issues from time to time but I think that has just made me lazier. Anytime my stomach feels different than it should (not hungry, full, have to use the restroom, gassy, or otherwise) I automatically feel the need to sit or lay down until it feels normal. It is an anxiety thing, since I know when I have an anxiety attack I get very nauseous, I automatically assume that if my stomach feels off I need to calm down. In the past I never did this, I just ignored it. I am now hypersensitive to anything dealing with my stomach. All of this has made me stagnate.

When I get home from work I cook dinner, check on the plants outside, check the mail, and then sit on the couch to eat with Da' Hubby and do not move until we go to the bedroom. I shower and he will clean the kitchen and I get out go to bed and he jumps in the shower. We play on our tablets, watch tv, or read a book but that is it, that is our whole Monday-Thursday after work. On the weekends we run errands, shop, do house work, garden, visit family, etc.

I wish I was the type of person to get home eat, go to the gym, go to the bar, or whatever normal people do. I am going to try to be more active. I actually have plans to join a group that is going to work on playground for special needs students in my area. This is going to help me break out of my shell, get my foot in the door for teaching, help students in my area, and get me off my lazy butt.

I love how this is kind of free flow and I am able to just ramble about a topic, it is very cathartic.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What Would You Fund?

Here's this week's prompt from Sometimes Sweet

If you had unlimited resources, what political or social issue, or area of scientific or medical exploration would you fund? Do you have a cause that is dear and near to your heart that you'd put your time, energy, and money into if you had the means? Tell us about it, along with a bit of background explaining where you're coming from.

I have been thinking about this since Monday when it was posted and my first thought was education. As you know I am trying to become a teacher and I see some of the flaws in the system, especially when it comes to special education. But I am not sure what section I would want to put all of my time and money into since all aspects of education are important.

I am part of a group who are going to build a playground for special needs children, and I am so happy to be apart of it but there are more things in that school that need help besides the playground (which I find to be incredible and a great addition to the school). It is hard for me to choose just one area. I want the schools to have better textbooks, teachers who are dedicated and not just there for the paycheck and the summer break, I want the students to be excited to be at school and enjoy learning, I want the special needs students to be able to graduate and have a plan in mind for their life and not just live at home or in an assisted living environment (due to specific needs), I want to keep the arts in the schools, I want students to learn foreign languages and for it to be sustainable,  I want the lunches to be healthy, I want classes to teach students about life in the real world (taxes, checking, bill pay, loans, etc), I want teachers to teach more than just the tests,  and so much more.

With so many issues in the world of education I do not know where to begin. Many of my teachers in high school who I still have contact with have told me not to teach because of the politics of it. I have heard that I cannot get a teaching job at some schools unless I know someone because of the politics in those schools and I think that is crazy! I feel that if you are qualified and have a desire to educate, then not growing up in that district should have no barring on your interview. Some problems cannot be fixed with money or time.

With all of that being said I  would still try to work on the education system since it is what will make our country a better place and with the right teachers we can fix many more problems. Science teachers with a love of the planet can help in many ways, math teachers can teach students how to handle money to avoid debt, history teachers with a passion for learning from the past, reading teachers to help us become more intellectual and enjoy education, foreign language teachers teach love of travel and importance of language. All areas of education can teach you more about the world than the students give them credit for but with the right motivation and teachers we can turn our nation into a great intellectual powerhouse.

Sorry for the ramble but that is how I journal.

Oh and also shark preservation! But education helps with this - teach understanding not fear!

What would you like to fix in the world?

Week 3 - Hindsight
Week 2 - Song Feelings
Week 1 - Crossroads

Monday, March 10, 2014

Beard Lovin'

This weekend Da'Hubby and I went to Larry's Old Time Trade Days, which is like a giant garage sale or something like that. I have mentioned it before and I love going! This time we were hunting for a glider swing  for our front porch but we found something much cooler! We met this guy!

Picture kidnapped from Texas Beard Company Facebook Page

This is me, Da'hubby, and on the end  Ryan one of the owners Texas Beard Company. If you you are a beard-lover or know a beard-lover you need to go to his site and check out the great stuff that he makes.

This is what we got Da'Hubby.  Mint Eucalyptus Beard Balm (this stuff smells amazing) and thrown into the amazing printed bag was the printed oil rag, a sticker and business card. All of the stuff minus the business cards were all made by the 4 guys running the company. I stalked Ryan a bit on instagram and facebook to show my love to the company and they did the shirts and rags in their garage with a silk screen. I am talking hardcore DIY guys here and I love it!  At this point I think I should mention that this is not a sponsored post, we paid for the balm out of our pocket (Okay, Da' Hubby's wallet but still) and we will buy more in the future. This is just a honest review of an indie Texas born company that I am genuinely impressed with. 

They have 3 scents (on their site): 
•Mint Eucalyptus - Smells incredible, it has just the right amount of mint to wake you up in the morning or if put in at night will keep your sinuses clear. (good for snorers - from me not the company)
•Tumbleweed - non-scented if you are worried about not liking the smells, or unsure of what scent your beard-lover would like.
•Clove Citrus - This one was not my cup of tea since I am not a HUGE clove fan, the citrus hints were nice but I do not think I would enjoy snuggling up to my man's beard with the clove in it. (personal preference but if you like cloves and citrus you will love this smell)

Da'Hubby prefers balm over the oils just because he is not a fan of the way the oil it feels in his beard but the balm is amazing. His beard is already feeling softer, and he says it is easier to tame too. We have tried leave-in conditioner (MY Sleek and Smooth Garnier Leave in conditioner) and it works good but it smells girly, and we have not been able to find anything designated for beards without looking online. I have seen Blue Beards on Amazon and the countless ones on Etsy but being able to actually smell it before I bought it was a big plus for me. And not only that, we were able to see the beards of the guys who make the stuff and were able to see first hand what it can do for Da'Hubby's beard.  Basically I am so happy with this brand and their product and I cannot wait to buy more and support their growth. 

Oh and to switch topics real quick - here is the swing Da' Hubby got me!

It is a double glider from M&D Supply and I love it!!! I like to try things out before I buy and sadly the ones at Larry's Trade Days were either not comfortable, unable to try out, or WAY out of our price range.

Do you have any indie brands that you love? I would gladly go check them out! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Journaling Day 3

This week's prompt from Sometimes Sweet:
They say hindsight is 20/20, and with good reason- looking back at something always gives us a better view. We're often able to really see how our choices and decisions then shaped our today, and examine what we would have done differently given the chance. When looking back though, we often look way back, but for this exercise stay a little closer to present time and look back just 12 months. If you could go back just one year, what would you tell yourself? What advice would you offer about everything you've experienced?
At first I was thinking that I do not have anything that I would change but that is a lie. Despite how beautiful my wedding was, and how much I loved my dress I wish we would have eloped. I knew going into my wedding that it was going to be drama filled but I didn't realize that it would still be such a big deal 1 year later. My two mother-in-laws do not get along, I do not speak to my birth mother so that right there makes for an adventure.

I was offered by my parents so many times that they would give us the money they were going to spend on the wedding and we could elope and avoid all drama. I am still kicking myself for turning that down. From the panic attacks I had from dress shopping causing me to get on anxiety pills, to the massive anxiety attacks I had on my wedding day.

Things are still not right with Josh's step-mom and us since the wedding. We are pleasant to each other, but you can tell we are not her favorites right now, but we were before the wedding planning started and she and I had different visions of MY wedding.

Hopefully if we would have eloped this drama would be gone, I might not be on my pills or know why I am always sick but the tension at family functions would be gone.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

As of yesterday (3/2/14) I have been married to this man for a full year and I have loved every minute of it!

I am so thankful to have this wonderful man in my life and I just wanted to let him know how much he truly means to me!

Book Challenge Update #2

According to Goodreads I am 1 book ahead of schedule for my goal which is super awesome! But here are my reads and reviews for February.

Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown. I have a whole post dedicated to this book I enjoyed it so much (you can read it here.) 
♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5

(Picture totally stolen from Ashley's blog - So now you have to check her out!)

*I am going to pimp out my friends new book again.* Silence by Ashley McNeil This one was a re-edit of a book from a while back and my first time to read it. This book  was amazing I knocked it out in 2 days and it would have been sooner if I did not have things to do. The characters were fantastic the love story had so many feels. Layna is such a strong character and I hope to be as strong as she is, I just don't want to suffer through the pain she had to endure to get there. This is one of those books you hope they turn into a movie but then again you don't because they may ruin it. Layna is deaf in the book and I think that makes her that more impressive to me. 

And seriously if you have not checked out Ashley yet hop over to her blog, she is incredible. Right now she is posting a miniseries from her other book Something Worth Fighting For, based on Adam And Darcy's story. 
♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5 

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs Since I enjoyed the first book I had to read this one too. It took me a bit to get into this one but I loved it! In this one they did more traveling and we met more "Peculiars" and the pictures were incredible. This book wants me to get into photography just so I can learn how they were able to make the images like the one on the cover. I do not want to spoil the first book by giving details but Jacob comes into his peculiar abilities more and relates to his grandfather more. The First book was better but I will defiantly want to re-read this series. 
♥♥♥1/2 out of 5

The Death Cure by James Dashner I have finished the Maze Runner Series, well all except the prequel but after Star Wars I am always a bit leery of prequels written/made after the fact (which is what prequel means...genius). I really hated Teresa and WICKED during this book. Okay I have hated WICKED from the beginning of the series but this book made me hate Teresa, she flip-flops so much and I cannot tell her true feelings. I think that WICKED started off good but had bad leadership and some stubborn employees and it turned the group evil. But who am I to rationalize what they did. I really liked the ending it is unusual for a dystopian novel to have a happy ending like this one but I am a fan of the series and cannot wait to watch the movies. 

♥♥♥♥ out of 5 (all because of Teresa)

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind If you have been with me for a while than you know that I LOVED the TV series Legend of The Seeker that this series is based off of (post here). I started to read it right after I watched the series because I was having some story hangover from it, but I stopped in the middle of the book. I am so glad I picked it back up. There are many differences from the book and the show (which always happens I do not know why I am surprised). There are more Wizards in the book than in the tv series which threw me off a bit (probably because I had to make up the person in my head instead of recalling the character from the show). I am actually kind of sad about some deaths that were in the book and not the show because in the show the character grows on you but in the book you almost start to like her and then she dies (that is all the spoilers I am giving no names). Anyway before I give too much away I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to start the next one.

♥♥♥♥1/2 out of 5

Check out last month's reviews  -   50 Books By The End of The Year