July 31, 2012

Bouts with Insomnia

I had every intention of getting a few things done today for here, but only getting 30 minutes of sleep last night makes that pretty impossible. Ugh, when will insomnia get the hint that I don't want to be friends!

Since Jr. High I have been suffering from bouts of insomnia but it has never been this bad. Once, I took some over the counter sleep aid that worked for a little bit for me to get a couple nights sleep but it was never enough. What to do, what to do?

I'll just hope tonight my body/brain will surrender and tomorrow I can get some things done.

July 29, 2012

Sunday Matinée: Alice (A Syfy Miniseries)

Amazon | IMDb

Director: Nick Willing

Writer: Nick Willing

Stars: Caterina Scorsone, Kathy Bates & Andrew-Lee Potts


Favorite Quote: “And then they fled from the roof on flamingos.”


Welcome to a whole new Wonderland. A reimagining of the classic Lewis Carroll stories Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass taking place about 150 years later with sci-fi and additional fantasy elements added.

Okay, so technically this isn’t a movie as much as it is a mini-series from Syfy, but frankly my dears Alice is too amazing to miss on a technicality. So with that said let’s get to important stuff shall we?


Lately I have been big on fairytale retellings/dystopian-esque everything and this movie certainly fit both bills! We start in the modern world where girl met boy, but boy isn’t exactly the person she believes him to be. Said boy, Jack, gets kidnapped by a mysterious man sporting pigtails; however Jack isn’t the only thing the man is after. Said girl, Alice, had received a present from Jack that the man wants also and won’t take no for an answer when it comes to getting it. When the man flees, Alice chases after him and stumbles into a mirror and is transported into an alternate universe, a Wonderland if you will.


Luckily, Alice has a few tricks up her sleeves as well but still needs help to find Jack and get him back as well as why the man needed her present. Soon she meets up with Hatter in this dystopian type world and together they go throughout the land looking for answers and change.  A lot of twists and turns, a bit of sexual tension, a kooky knight, as well as Alice being a wanted woman make for quite the adventure.


I fell in love with this movie and loved every minute of it. Plus there is an appearance by Tim Curry and of course Kathy Bates makes an excellent Queen of Hearts. I also liked the concept of how the Wonderland functioned by using human emotions as currency, something that the people of Wonderland can’t experience unless in liquid form. Very intriguing and definitely qualifies it for the “dystopian craze” that is going around (at least for me anyway).


My Rating: 4 out of 5 checkers:


July 26, 2012

From the Book Stack: Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz


Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family)

by Melissa de la Cruz

Amazon | Goodreads


272 pages

Published: June 21, 2011 by Disney-Hyperion


The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.


For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it's time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.


With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

Hmmmm…where to begin, where to begin? I really had high hopes for this book because it was about witches, something that I have always loved as a subject whether it is a book or a movie. However, I was disappointed in this book until the last 30 pages (that means there were 240 pages were a lot of what I’ll call grasping for straws).


From my understanding this is the first novel that de la Cruz has written for adults and is better known for her YA series Blue Bloods (which I have never read, in fact Witches of East End is the first book I have read by de la Cruz). But for me this read like a YA novel as well, the only things that made it seem adult are that the characters are older and there are a few graphic sex scenes, which leads me to the grasping of straws.


The sex scenes in this book, for me, felt out of place if you will. As in they were added to help sell books. In other books I have read I haven’t had a problem with them because they were warranted for the story line, but like I said these were just a little too much. Another thing that felt a little out of place to me was the Blue Blood (vampire) characters. They briefly pop in but then they are never brought up again. I understand that this is a series and maybe they will play a role in the story but as of now they just feel like another tactic to sell books. In other words there was a lot of valuable space for the actual storyline wasted on marketing tools in my book.


There was also a lot of teasing. Something would happen and you would think, “Oh, maybe now something will happen.” But it never did, well at least not until the last 30 pages anyway. There also wasn’t that much background until the last 30 pages too. You know how in most first books of a series you get at least some background right away so you understand everything that is going on. Yea, there wasn’t a whole lot of that. There was a lot of hinting and alluding to what possibly happened in the past but never anything concrete to about the end. I’m not going to lie; I was pretty frustrated at times because I didn’t know what the heck was going on exactly. But I digress.


But aside from that I really did like this book. I fell in love with the characters, I liked that each witch has her own specialty and weakness, and I could relate to each one is some way. There are also some minor characters in the community that are adorable and I hope to see how their stories play out as well.  Plus in those last 30 pages there is a twist that blew my mind as well as quite the cliffhanger in the epilogue (which makes me want to pick up the next book in the series soon).


So I know I kind of bust some chops with this book, but don’t get me wrong it was a nice story and one that I can’t wait to continue. I just hope that there is less teasing, less marketing ploys and more meaningful content in the next book.


My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 checkers


July 24, 2012


My mind is at a complete blank today. Okay not exactly true there is a lot going on up there but nothing wants to be written into words.


Nothing is wrong
Everything is fine
Not a whole lot going on
Oh that's such a lie


July 22, 2012

Sunday Matinée: Crazy, Stupid, Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love
Amazon | IMDb

Director: ­­­­­­­Glenn Ficarra & John Requa

Writer: Dan Fogelman

Stars: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling & Julianne Moore


Favorite Quote: “Will you take off your shirt... f! Seriously? It's like you're Photoshopped!”


Cal and Emily have the perfect life together living the American dream... until Emily asks for a divorce. Now Cal, Mr. Husband, has to navigate the single scene with a little help from his professional bachelor friend Jacob Palmer. Make that a lot of help...

Hilarious, Funny (that’s the same thing moron; well it begs repeating), and cute with a dash of romance. This is just one of those movies I will watch for years to come. What can I say; I have a thing for romantic comedies.


Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling’s bromance is one for the ages, and frankly, it makes me jealous (even if I can’t technically be part of bromance). The banter that they do back and forth is amazing, timed to perfection. Can I be honest? I think that this movie is more focused on the love that Cal and Jacob have rather than the other relationships in the story.


There is also the good girl and bad boy relationship, which I think that any girl is a sucker for. I mean doesn’t everybody still think that they can change the ways of said bad boy, but then learn it won’t happen (whoa, runaway train, let’s get back on track shall we). Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s chemistry made my heart melt plus holy twist towards the end batman! And that twist is worth getting over some of the issues I have with this movie (seriously, what is the point of that little girl?).


My Rating: 4 out of 5 checkers:


July 19, 2012

From the Book Stack: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult


Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Amazon | Goodreads


455 pages

Published: March 5, 2007 by Atria


Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister's Keeper and The Tenth Circle, pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy. Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens--until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened before her very own eyes--or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show--destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

And Ms. Picoult does it again! She seems to always find a way for me to feel for the “bad guys” in her novels and this was no exception. But unlike her other stories which take a little bit before I can get into them, however within the first twenty pages I was hooked and wanted to know what was going on.


The thing that I liked about this book was how one chapter would be the present and then the next would be in the past to show the events that led up to the violent act. And in true Picoult fashion within each chapter you get multiple perspectives, which are warranted in her stories. I also like the way that Jodi (can I be on a first name basis with her?) makes me question my morals by giving me a new perspective on them. I think that is why I picked up this book in the first place, because I was feeling too judgmental about things (something I try not to be).


The story takes place in a small town where most everyone there thought nothing bad could ever happen (much like the town I grew up in) until their world is turned upside down. Families lose loved ones and think that they were only victims to a psychopath but we learn that they all played their own roll in the events that led to that day.


We focus on two kids that grow up together and see how they begin to grow apart. We see the effects of bullying, the effects of a friend turning on you and the effects of trying to find yourself as a person (A lot of which I could relate to my own childhood, although mine was not as bad as what is mentioned in the book). At some points I had to set the book down, the way that one’s peers could treat them like that just disgusted me. And you would think that what happened to them at the end would cause change, but it didn’t and that made me sick.


There is also a twist at the end, which Jodi kind of foreshadows throughout the book; well at least I thought so because something about the events of that day just weren’t sitting right with me. But it keeps you pulled right to the end!


My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 checkers

July 17, 2012

Knowing Your Enemy: Earwigs

Have you had the pleasure of seeing an earwig? You know those creepy bugs with the long pincers on their butt (I would provide a picture but I wouldn’t even make it through this blog post). If you haven’t you are one lucky person and if you have, well I feel your pain. I mean those pincers hurt man!

For the past couple years, these things have decided to invade our home every summer for some reason unbenounced to me. Last year was the worst invasion and no matter what bug repellent we used they kept coming back. That is why this past winter I decided to do some research on how to get rid of these suckers.

Turns out earwigs are a pesky bug to kill. A lot of what I found recommended putting out wet, rolled up newspaper and then burning them (not very practical for me) or digging holes in your yard, putting in tuna cans full of oil (again something I didn’t want to do with my dogs around). I was beginning to get at my wits end, what’s a girl to do now?

It wasn’t until last month when I stumbled upon a show on diatomaceous earth and one thing that it is good at is killing bugs. I swear the television had a brighter glow and angelic music began to play (did I take that to far?). Diatomaceous earth is microscopic pieces of fossilized algae that scratches up the exoskeleton and dehydrates the bug. I spread some all around the perimeter of the house and all the plants and it helped. But turns out these things made there way into our basement and were living in our central air unit (who do they think they are?!?). So I also had to spread some D.E. around down there as well, but haven’t seen an earwig *knocks-on-wood* for a couple weeks now. The only down side to D.E. is you have to reapply it after it rains otherwise it doesn’t work. But I couldn’t be more happy with the results!

July 15, 2012

Sunday Matinée: Easy A

Easy A
Amazon | IMDb

Director: Will Gluck

Writer: Bert V. Royal

Stars: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes and Penn Badgley


Favorite Quote: “Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life.”


High school student Olive Penderghast finds herself the victim of her school's "rumor mill" when she lies to her best friend Rhiannon about a weekend tryst with a fictional college freshman. Word quickly spreads of Olive's promiscuity and, much to her surprise, she welcomes the attention. When she agrees to help out a bullied friend by pretending to sleep with him, her image rapidly degrades to a more lascivious state and her world begins to spin out of control. As she helps more and more of her classmates and her lies continue to escalate, Olive must find a way to save face before the school's religious fanatic Marianne gets her expelled and she loses a shot at attaining her own happiness.

Do you ever have those nights where no matter what; you just can’t seem to fall asleep? The other night I was having a case of insomnia but instead of watching HSN/QVC luckily I found this movie during my channel surf.


Now I had seen this movie before and my first impression was: typical teen movie. And after seeing it again, it’s still a teen movie but with slightly more class. But don’t let the “teen movie” label stop you! It made me laugh constantly throughout because of the dialog (“When you die, you will have to answer to a higher power.” “Tom Cruise?”).


The thing I love most about this movie is that it is narrated by Olive herself during a webcast. It is just something I am not used to seeing in movies and I thought it was a nice touch and brought parts of the movie together. Also the characters are freaking amazing. Olive (and her parents for that matter) is full of witty comebacks and one-liners. She is a girl after my own heart, making references to John Hughes movies and classic movies (even if it was to avoid reading the Scarlet Letter for English). Rhiannon is a sex crazed teen age girl (all talk no walk). The friendship between her and Olive reminds me so much a friendship I had in Jr. High. Marianne is one of those religious nuts who are more into her word than His word. Amanda Bynes does a great job of covering all the clichés. And together, these ladies make for quite an entertaining movie.


My Rating: 4 out of 5 checkers


July 12, 2012

From the Book Stack: The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins

Amazon | Goodreads

374 pages

Published: October 31, 2008 by Scholastic Inc.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, the shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before--and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Okay, okay….I know I am a little behind on this one (I mean come on there is even a movie now). Let’s be honest, I was kind of avoiding this book like the plague. It seemed to be getting a lot of the hype, a lot like Twilight (*shudders* one thing I will never understand, but that is another story of itself) so I just had a bitter taste in mouth. So what changed my mind? Amazon had it for $5 and I figured eh, why not? If I didn’t like it, it wouldn’t be a total loss. Plus, I needed that $5 to qualify for free shipping. Smile

It spent quite a few months on the shelf, but last week I finally cracked it open. And to my surprise, it was AWESOME!! So, awesome that I read it in two days, something I haven’t done since I had to write book reports for school. Let me just run through my thoughts and feelings for those two days:

  • This is kind of slow
  • Okay I got all this from the movie trailer
  • This is just all kinds of messed up
  • Aww, he loves her
  • Wait, what?
  • Alright, here we go
  • What is that, heart palpitations?
  • Am I having a heart attack?
  • This is so intense
  • Oh no he didn’t
  • And another one bites the dust
  • *inhales sharply* that hurts
  • Gross
  • Seriously, how have I not stroked out yet
  • Love this partnership
  • NOOOOO…why? *cry hysterically*
  • Camouflage, in your face buttheads.
  • Work it girl
  • Is there something real?
  • Love triangle?…dun dun dun
  • *gasp* Definitely did not see that coming!
  • Suck on that Capital
  • Oh crap, this isn't good

As you can see, I went on quite the emotional rollercoaster. I loved, I loathed, cried, laughed. I almost died from heart complications haha! In other words, a GREAT BOOK! I’m still nerd-ing out about it, it’s kind of insane (pretty sure my brother is getting sick of me pushing it on him). And I want, crave, NEED to get Catching Fire and Mockingjay in my hands soon so I can find out what happens (I’ve seen the synopsis of both of them on goodreads and they sound sick).

So yea, if you are one of the few that haven’t read this book I recommend that you do! It is a great dystopian novel full of action and is a super fast read. Plus there is a love story in there, so you will not be disappointed! Or you know you may need that $5 dollars at Amazon to qualify for free shipping.Winking smile I’m just saying, you don’t need to avoid this book, the hype that surrounds it is much deserved (unlike some sagas *shudders*).

My Rating: 5 out of 5 checkers

July 10, 2012

Favorite Things of the Moment

  • Being the middle of a doggie sandwich
  • The smell of a well loved loved book
  • Curling up on the couch to watch a classic movie
  • Thunderstorms
  • A much needed breeze on a warm day
  • Stargazing from the back of my truck
  • Mike’s Hard Black Cherry Lemonade (seriously, check it out!)
  • A morning dove’s coo and a little wren’s song
  • The sound my dog makes when he finally gets comfortable
  • Having to tuck in my other dog before she goes to bed every night
  • 5-1-5-0 by Dierks Bentley (somebody call the po po!)
  • Getting a package in the mail, even if it is something I bought
  • Writing and sharing with you

(Note: I announced the winner of the Giveaway yesterday, so if you entered be sure to go check that and send me an e-mail so we can come up with ideas of your header or button!
Also, I have been combing two of my blogs so I can take better care of them both. While I was busy transferring posts over here I found one of my favorite features that I used to do "Sunday Matinée" where I would review movies every Sunday. I haven't done them in a while and really want to start them again.
I am also going to be adding a new feature called "From the Book Stack" where I review a book I read that week. That will be posted every Thursday and also hope to incorporate some videos into that as well that feature book hauls, "to be read" books for the coming month and a book rewind that showcases all the books I read the previous month. 
I hope that you will come back on Thursday and Sunday to see the new features because I would appreciate some feedback on those. Thanks for taking the time to read this long note and as always for coming to visit!)

July 9, 2012

And the Winner is…

Do you remember last month when I announced I was having a giveaway? Well today is the day I announce the winner. YAY! Open-mouthed smile I’m super excited, so let’s get on with the show.

Of the 5 people who commented on the post, random.org picked number…


Congratulations  Elisa! I’m looking forward to working with you and on your header or button. If you could just send me an e-mail (button is on the side –>) and we will start brainstorming some ideas.

A huge thank you to everyone who entered! I wish that I could make you all one, hopefully soon I can host another giveaway.