Saturday, December 31, 2011

Book Love

Instead of doing Friday Five this week, I decided I jump on the end of 2011 bandwagon and bring you a few of my favorite books of the year! The list is ordered by release date because otherwise my head would explode from trying to put them in order of favorites.

Aw, here it goes!*

Initially I wasn't quite sure what Divergent by Veronica Roth would be like. I didn't read much about it beforehand and once I bought the book it took me a few chapters to get into it. Once I did though? It COMPLETELY sucked me in and this is one book I will HAVE to re-read in 2012. I loved this book so hard because Tris was an amazing leading lady and Four was just so swoon worthy. I've recommended it to countless people and bought copies as gifts for others. 

Sometimes people will ask me to compare and the closest thing I can think of is The Hunger Games. I know, I know but here's my reasoning for it. Tris kicks just as much ass as Katniss does and in some cases maybe even a little more. They would totally be BFF's if they ever met and then the world would have to watch the eff out.

 One of the books I couldn't wait to read was Michelle Hodkin's The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I got a chance to read an ARC and even then, I really couldn't wait to own my own copy. The cover is gorgeous, the book is witty and it's a homerun from a debut author. Plus, there's Noah Shaw. I mean, the accent and hair alone make him swoon-worthy. Michelle is pretty darn cool too and I had a blast talking to her at YallFest. This is another book that I've purchased numerous copies for people, and if you come back soon, you might be able to win a signed copy of your own!

If I could be like ANY author (or have one as my BFF) it would totally be Stephanie Perkins. She's funny, smart, has blue hair (which I've always wanted) and writes books that are just so fabulous. The wait for Lola and the Boy Next Door was horribly long but well worth it. Just looking at the cover you can tell the pages will ooze awesome and I have NO idea how she only has two published novels. Regardless, I know Stephanie is going to have a long career and if it's possible, I'm just that much more excited for her next novel. 

All the characters in Lola were so real and I LOVED how she added Anna and St. Clair in as Lola's friends. I loved Cricket so much and I even liked Max (for a little while anyway) and her dads! I loved her dads! I thought it was super cool that one of them was a baker because the Crystal character would totally work in his bakery. What made me love Lola so much is that she was different. She wore her outfits/costumes and it was HER. I wanted to be like her in high school but I lacked much of the confidence Lola had. 

I don't even know where to begin when it comes to Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone. This book came as a complete surprise to me, especially when I heard that it was a little bit fantasy with a little romance, supernatural, and mystery sprinkled in for good measure. The writing was beautiful and it was just one of those books that I couldn't wait to talk about and talk about it I did. My talking about it made my co-worker want to read it so of course I got it for him for Christmas. To date, I've bought four copies and won't be surprised if I buy more for other people. If you haven't read this book yet, what are you waiting for?

What were some of your favorite books released in 2011?

*You're pretty darn awesome if you know what that's from

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and try not to be TOO jealous of me getting to work tonight. I leave you with a picture of SANTA KITTY who is NOT amused.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Five (9)

Ok so I didn't get a chance to type up my Friday Five this morning, so please bear with me as I try out this blogger app for iPhone. Let's also pretend we don't see any typos, ok? Ok!

1. Friends of ours are visiting their families for the holidays and we got to have dinner with them last night. It reminded me just how much I miss living down the street from them like we did in Auburn (they now live in Florida). The majority of our friends live out of town so I love getting together whenever we get a chance to.

2. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I somehow got the day off. I'm not complaining because it'll make Christmas day SO much easier because we'll have a chance to visit Adam's grandparents then instead of Christmas. I would much rather spend the holidays at home before I go to work that night.

3. We drove by our lot yesterday and they've cleared it! I never thought I'd be so excited over a weedless area but I am and I can't wait to go back and take a picture (it was POURING when we went).

4. This weekend I will no longer be a Love Actually virgin! I finally saw it was going to be on tv, so I set my DVR for it and get to watch it tonight or tomorrow. The only bad part is apparently the cable rebooted itself and there's going to be about 5 minutes of the movie I miss. Oh well.

5. My work Christmas party was last night and I'm glad I went because OMG SAUSAGE BALLS! I love them things and plan on making them for the first time tomorrow night to go with my Christmas morning breakfast quiche. Hopefully the quiche turns out well because that'll be a first too!

Hope you all had a fabulous week!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vloggity Vlog

Last week my lovely friend Tameka challenged some girls in my online book club to answer fifteen questions in vlog format. I originally wasn't going to post this but I figured this would be a good way for all of you to get to know me better.

I've also posted the questions below in case you want to do this as well.

Without further ado, I bring you ME.

#1. What's a nickname only your family calls you?
#2. What's a weird habit of yours?
#3. Do you have any weird phobias?
#4. What's a song you secretly LOVE to blast && belt out when you're alone?
#5. What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
#6. What's one of your nervous habits?
#7. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
#8. What was your first stuffed animal && it's name?
#9. What's the drink you ALWAYS order at starbucks?
#10. What's the beauty rule you preach.. but never ACTUALLY practice?
#11. Which way do you face in the shower?
#12. Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'?
#13. What's your favorite 'comfort food'/food that's 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways?
#14. What's a phrase or exclamation you always say?
#15. Time to sleep- what are you ACTUALLY wearing?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Five (8)

Now that things have calmed down a bit (no more exams to study for), I can finally start paying attention to my blog! Multitasking is apparently not my thing. I have updates coming from YallFest and a book giveaway but first I bring you my Friday Five!

1. JOHN GREEN IS COMING TO BIRMINGHAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think that's really all that needs to be said.

2. All this Hey Girl with Ryan Gosling makes me happy. HE IS EVERYWHERE and again, no elaboration necessary if you know me AT ALL.

3. Like I stated before, exams are over which means my first semester back in school in over 2 years has come to a close. I couldn't be happier with the end result, I passed all my classes and although I got a 78 in Stats, I'm happy because I got a "C" in Stats! I also got a "B" in Accounting 1 and have no idea how I pulled that off. YAY!

4. I'm so behind on my Christmas cookie making but I'll finally have a chance to catch up on that tonight and tomorrow. I had all these grand plans of making cookies for everyone and somehow it hasn't happened yet. Yesterday was my only time free so far though and I spent it lounging on the couch watching Crazy Stupid Love and Supernatural with my mom.

5. The husband and I went out with some friends Wednesday night to a Christmas concert and sometime during the night, my drivers license fell out of my back pocket. Don't ask me how it happened because I have no earthly idea. Last night when we were playing xbox, there was banging and incessant doorbell ringing happening and it freaked us out. It ended up being a cop checking to see if I still lived here because my license had been turned in. He gave me another officer's number and when I called him he said that last night a homeless man found it and flagged him down to give it to him. Thanks to that man, I now have my license back and don't have to waste time at the DMV. I am totally planning on paying it forward. Not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I have a few ideas.

How was your week? Anything good happen?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Five (7)

1. I think I'm bowing out of NaNoWriMo. Why? Well I'm super behind but that's not the entire reason. On the way to YallFest, I tried writing and realized that I was not ready at all for it. I still love my idea but there are so many tiny (and some big) things I haven't quite figured out yet so I will turn the rest of November into figuring out those thing. Most of those things are pretty important to the story and in the long run, it's just the best thing for me to do.

2. We didn't get the house. In my opinion, and quite frankly I'm not the only one who feels this way, something shady went on with the sale. I don't really want to go into it here but it all came down to the selling agent. After our agent did some research on him, turns out other people won't work with him anymore. We're back to searching and found a few contenders yesterday and I'm hoping to go back to see them tomorrow with my husband. If you have any house hunting juju, I sure could use some!

3. I had to work the Breaking Dawn midnight premiere last night. My shift was from  8-Close and this meant me not getting home until almost 1:30. The bad part? I have to open this morning and should be getting ready instead of doing this. It was semi-packed. We had 6 of our 14 auditoriums showing it and a total of 1,208 people last night. Considering the number of people, I think it turned out good. I will say that there was a meth mouth customer who did NOT understand the concept of a personal space bubble.

4. My mom's cat may have cancer. She told me yesterday that the vet told her red and white blood cell counts are way down and she's lost five pounds this year. She's on some medicine to see if it will help because he couldn't feel a tumor or anything. If the meds don't work, he'll do an ultrasound in two weeks. He ran a few tests and everything but that came back normal, so here's to hoping she'll be ok.

5. I signed up for GISHWHES and I'm looking forward to the weird I'm in for. Misha Collins is the mastermind behind it and after last year's scavenger hunt, there's no telling what we'll have to do. It should be fun though!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and check back because I'll be updating about YallFest AND doing another giveaway!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Five (6)

I hope that everyone has had a fabulous week! My week so far has been pretty quiet but good, however, it's not over yet!

1. The husband and I are leaving tomorrow morning to head to Charleston, SC for the first ever YallFest! I can't tell you guys how excited I am for it! I know I mentioned this last week, but it deserves another mention. Especially because it'll be my first time visiting Charleston AND I'll get to see Jennie again! I met her for the first time (in person) at DBF and I can't wait to see her again because I think she's pretty awesome.

2. I turned 27 this past Wednesday. It was a pretty low key day that consisted of a Macroeconomics test, a movie (the Hubs and I saw In Time), and dinner. Afterwards we went back to my mom's house for cake (that my husband made) and presents. I got some money, a music box, a Hogwarts blanket, cake/cupcake caddy, and Crazy Stupid Love. I don't know about you, but a cake made by my husband who also got me Ryan Gosling for my birthday = most awesome husband ever!

3. NaNo is NOT going well. With everything going on I've kind of stalled at just over 2k. I plan on taking my netbook with me to Charleston because I'm going to ATTEMPT to write in the car. If I'm being honest, I don't think this is going to work well because when I try to read or even play on my phone, I start getting carsick. I've never tried typing but I'll be surprised if that doesn't happen. Here's to hoping though!

4. Yesterday before I left for class I opened the front door for the cat to look out of (Husband had taken the day off for my birthday) and I noticed our mailbox had died during the night. I had a feeling it was done on purpose and while I was in class, Husband talked to our neighbor and found out that about 2am, her son heard a noise and when he looked out the window, he saw a dark car speeding up the street with someone hanging out the window holding a garbage can. Classy, huh?

5. The best news of the week didn't even happen to me. My good friend Jessica now has an agent! I might be a little biased, but Jill Corcoran has FANTASTIC taste in clients. I can't tell you guys how absolutely THRILLED I am for Jessica. She's such a cool person, great friend, and amazing teacher and totally deserves this awesome thing to happen to her...with the quickness too! Congratulations again Jess!!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Five (5)

1. The husband and I found a house! It's absolutely gorgeous and the second I walked in the door I had the "wedding dress" feeling. I could see us living there for a long time and can't wait to hear back from the agent. The only bad news is that it's a foreclosure and it had taken a drastic price drop and we're not the only ones who want it. I think our offer is a solid one and I hope we're the winners. I'm going to be seriously bummed if we don't get it.

2. I turn 27 next Wednesday. I don't know why, but this is the first birthday I've started freaking out about. I think part of the reason is that I don't feel like I've DONE anything and that I'm just behind in life. I look at all these other people my age who have and it's kind of depressing. BUT, for said birthday, Husband and I are going to Ally Condie's book signing next Thursday and after that we're heading to Charleston, SC for YALLFEST! I'm so excited about it because not only do I get to spend an afternoon listening to fabulous authors but I get to meet Michelle Hodkin (finally!) and see my nestie friend, Jennie, again.

3. I'm doing NaNoWriMo. I'm already behind but I hope to be able to get caught up today. I'm at just over 2k words but I plan on getting some stuff done at work since Friday afternoons are usually slow.

4.I finally ordered a new point-and-shoot camera. I've been wanting a new one for MONTHS but there just wasn't anything out that I thought was worth getting. This is the camera I got and I should be getting it today. Now I'll be prepared for good pictures at YALLFEST.

5. My friend Anne is heading up the Magic City Literati and tonight is our first dinner/get together. I'm really looking forward to seeing her and my other friend Natalie. I'm also pretty excited to meet new writers in my area. It should be fun!

Monday, October 31, 2011


NaNoWriMo officially begins in 40 minutes for me and this is my declaration to the world. I WILL finish NaNo this year.

I have an idea that I'm pretty excited about and I can't wait to get started on it. My biggest roadblock will most likely be this thing I can never stop myself from doing -- editing while I write. I'm going into this with a vague outline and a promise to myself that I have to write. It doesn't matter how crappy I think it is, my goal is to have 50,000 words of a manuscript in front of my face come December 1st.

I've always been my own worst enemy when it comes to writing. I have friends that are fantastic at it and I always feel like the Stephanie to their DJ, going into their closets and wearing their clothes because I so desperately want to be like them. I feel like this is my chance to prove to them that I'm cool enough to hang with the big dogs and feel like I'm not a poser.

So here's to NaNoWriMo and everyone participating. Good luck!

Are you doing NaNo this year? If so, you should be my buddy! You can find me under FunkyPineapple.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Never forget

Six months, to the day, have come and gone since the April 27th tornadoes. A lot has happened in the past six months but time has also stood still. The clean-up has ended (for the most part) and the rebuilding process has begun.

Six months ago I was in Arizona and worried about my friends and family at home. My husband and I were glued to TV's, Facebook, Twitter, and a local news app on my phone. I'll never forget the worry and dread I felt while waiting to hear that everybody was ok.

Every day I still see places near my home that were forever changed. Homes that still have blue tarps covering their roofs, left over debris from a house that's no longer there, big tall lights that line the interstates are still bent in half like a child's pipe cleaner, and what was once densely packed woods alongside the road is now nothing but a clear field.

Life does go on and for many people it has. The world outside has mostly forgotten about what we're all facing in the South, however, there are still so many people who are going without and are relying on strangers for help.

Doing All 4 Alabama and even donating to Ringgold Reads gave me the opportunity to help out others and just do something good. Not because it was expected of me or an obligation, but because all I wanted to do was help.

I have another chance to help by spreading the word and I'm going to take it. I know a lot of you are fans of the show GLEE and although it's not my thing, I have to promote this because one of the hardest hit places in Alabama, Phil Campbell, has the opportunity to win money to help their high school get back on their feet. You can see the video (and hopefully vote) here and if that doesn't make you feel feelings, then your a robot like Chandler. What if those were your kids? Your school? These kids have been through so much and I think if anyone deserves it, they do.

With that, I'm closing but I just want to say thanks again to everybody who has donated their time and/or money to help rebuild, whether it be due to the tornadoes or not. Without people like you the world would be super sucky place.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blogoversary Winners!

Since there were so few entries, I'm sending everyone a little something! Everyone please send me your mailing addresses to Your deadline to get me that information will be this Friday night.

So now that you know that you've won something, it's time to tell you who the big winners are.

The grand prize winner is 


and the runner-up is 


Thanks to everyone that entered and I'll get your stuff out to you as soon as I get back from California. Have a great week!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Five (4)

1. About two weeks ago I was watching tv and a really stupid commercial came on. I started thinking back to some of my favorite commercials and I must say, this one is probably one of my all-time favorites.

There were a few more from this same group of commercials that were great, but this was the first one and quite brilliant.

2. We're leaving for California soon and when I was going through my activities, I noticed that the only two things I had planned fell on the same day. What are the odds of the happening? Of course it would so I made a decision and I think it worked out for the best. I get to see Jess and Tameka and do bookish things and I'll still get to go to a taping (Jimmy Kimmel instead of 2 Broke Girls) but my husband will get to come with me so that's even better.

3. I passed my 4th test! This is cause for major celebration because I did SO much better than I thought I accounting. The thought of taking accounting has always scared me (ditto for statistics) because people were always saying how hard it was and whatnot. Plus, it's no secret that anything math related is definitely my weakness. Here's to a great outlook on the rest of the semester.

4. We ordered a nice little memorial stone for my mother-in-law for Annie. It also came yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful and when we gave it to her she teared up. If you ever need to buy one, this is the ETSY seller I used and although I would totally buy from her again, I hope I won't have to for a LONG time.

5. Finally, Lola and the Boy Next Door is finally out!! I pre-ordered my copy and it arrived yesterday. I couldn't wait to start reading but I had to until last night and I ended up reading it til after 2am. It's really good so far and I can't wait to continue later today!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Love

It's Mara Dyer day!! I had the opportunity to read an ARC of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin back in June and at the time I was planning on doing a review of it but when I actually sat down to write it I had way too much bouncing around in my head.

I didn't want it to be one of those posts where I get all gushy (because I totally would have gone that direction) and I knew that if I started talking about it, I'd unintentionally say too much. I WILL share a few notes I left for myself back in June. Yes, I leave myself notes so I don't forget --I have a terrible memory with certain things. Here they are along with my commentary on that particular note

Harry potter references - One way to win me over is to reference Harry Potter. Some people think it's lame or the author trying to come off as cool by mentioning Harry, but not me. I LOVE these kinds of references. It shows me that the author not only enjoys something that I do, but it's a nice little nod of appreciation to J.K. Rowling (in my opinion anyway) because she had such a major role in what MG/YA is today.

Noah Shaw - Could Noah BE anymore hotter? (Please imagine that said in my best Chandler Bing voice). I don't think he could be. Mysterious? Check. Cute? Check. Best accent choice ever? CHECK. I have always been enamored by British accents and when he says to Mara, "he was doing it wrong." Holy skipping heartbeat Batman! Watch out Marcus Flutie and Etienne St. have some SERIOUS competition.

Jamie - condoms line - I don't remember the exact line but I remember I literally laughed out loud and had to make sure I didn't wake my husband up. I wish there had been MORE Jamie because he was awesome. Here's hoping he pops up in book 2!

voice/witty - Michelle NAILED Mara's voice and the book was just witty and fun and I'd totally want Mara to be my BFF. When you read it, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. For a debut author to get it right like this just boggles my mind. Some people have talent oozing from their pores and Michelle is one of them. She's going to be a NYT best seller..mark my words.

Daniel + Jude = TDD - Having two characters with the same name as two characters from another series (Bree Despain's Dark Divine books) threw me at first and I couldn't quit thinking about this other world. However, these characters quickly became their own people and it was a non-issue.

Only complaint is that I have to wait for September to get my own copy - It's now September and the book releases today. I actually purchased my VERY OWN copy this past Friday and she looks lovely hanging out with Sophie and Evie on my book shelf. I also have a pre-ordered copy on the way for a giveaway in a few weeks.

Next up on the Mara Dyer lovefest is the book trailer. Have you seen it yet? If you haven't WHAT are you waiting for?! It's absolutely fantastic and I normally don't care for book trailers (unless your name happens to be Maggie Stiefvater), but this one is..well just go watch it!

Now that you've seen it, what do you think? Awesome, huh? I showed it to my husband and even he was impressed. Even the song is great! If this doesn't make you want to read this book then I have to raise my eyebrow at you.

So happy book birthday Michelle! I hope today is as wonderful as you are and I can't wait to meet you in November!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blogoversary + Giveaway


Yup, that's right. It's been a year since I've started this blog and what a year it has been. I've laughed, I've cried, I've grown, and I've done things I never thought I'd get to and in honor of all that, I'm hosting a giveaway!

As a thank you for following my blog, I'm giving YOU presents!

One lucky (random) winner will receive:

Cat not included

Rango temporary tattoos
Firelight and Vanish postcards with Firelight sticker
Anna and the French Kiss bookmark
A signed bookmark of The Near Witch
Mini Hot Chocolate candle
2 pairs of made by me bobby pins (yellow roses and navy chrysanthemums)
Silver metal cuff bracelet with the quote "My thoughts create my world"
Signed paperback copy of Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver

A runner-up will receive:
Swag (bookmarks and postcards listed above)
Mini Hot Chocolate Candle

I will also be giving away swag and a few other items as I hunt through my office to see what else I have (keychains, Disney Hyperion playing cards, mini posters for a certain highly anticipated movie, and mini poster with my favorite actor on it, etc..)

The Rules:

1. You MUST be a follower of my blog. 
2. Entries will not be accepted after Midnight CST on Sunday, October 9th.
3. Winner will be picked randomly and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.
4. Comment to enter (please leave an email address where I can contact you)
5. You can tweet the giveaway for an extra entry (separate comment with the link please) and @ me (@nemlas29)

That's it! Thanks for following!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Five (3)

1. Happy Autumnal Equinox everyone! I'm so happy that fall is finally here because it's my favorite season. I don't really care for the shorter days but I love everything else. The cooler air and being able to go outside and actually enjoy it instead of feeling like you're choking on thick air. Watching Auburn football with my husband and even going to a game or two to reunite with old friends that have moved to other places. The changing of the leaves to bright golds, reds, and oranges. My birthday (and my husband's), holidays, and so much more. What are your favorite things about fall?

2. My husband spent the better part of the work week in St. Louis for work. He came home last night and gave me this:

Be jealous :-)

What's awesome about my new headwear is that I was looking on an ETSY shop yesterday afternoon at one of these! As you know, I'm a huge fan of Supernatural and Misha Collins has one and is pictured in the sales photo for the sock monkey hat. I thought they were cute when I first saw them and really wanted one of the owl ones. Then yesterday I saw Jared Padalecki re-tweet a photo of him and his bodyguard wearing them so back to the shop I went and I ALMOST ordered one. The problem? Which did I want: owl or monkey. Good thing I didn't.

3. I've passed 3 of my 4 tests so far! Test #4 is this Monday and in Accounting so I'm nervous. It has been taking me FOREVER on the homework and I still have to submit some of that plus do my quizzes. I can't wait until 12:15 rolls around on Monday so I can not have to worry about tests for a few weeks. If you have any good luck dust laying around, I could sure use some!

4. I took my car to the body shop on Monday to get the hood fixed after a pick-up truck ran over a piece of blown tire and it hit my car a few weeks ago. The tire was pretty big and after hitting here

it popped up and hit smack in front of my face. Thank god it hit the hood first otherwise I don't think my poor windshield, or my face for that matter, would have survived. The crazy? It cost $804 to get fixed. We ended up paying for it out of pocket since insurance would only cover $300 and we figured our rates would probably increase. 

5. The Big Bang Theory premiered the new season last night and it was HILARIOUS! I honestly don't think I've laughed at a show as much as I did during their second episode, especially when this happened.

If you don't know what this is, please go watch episode two, The Infestation Hypothesis. Man, I love this show.

That's it for this Friday's five, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and check back later this weekend for a giveaway!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Five (2)

I'm going to being by saying that most everything on my list has A) to do with my husband and B) is really exciting so prepare for a lot of !!'s. 

1. We're going to be buying a house soon! Ok, so I'm not entirely sure how soon the soon part will be but it's going to happen. Over the summer we finally sold the mobile home we had before we moved back to Birmingham and not only was it a relief financially (who wants to pay for something you're NOT living in?) but it is allowing us to move on to the next step and finally get a home of our own. We've been looking at different areas for almost a year and have found, what we think, is the perfect area for us. We just have to go get pre-approved for a loan amount and go from there. We do have a few different homes in mind but we'll see what kind of loan amount we get.

2. The husband got a promotion! I can't tell you how proud of him I am. He's been where he's at since February of last year and he loves his job and he's got great bosses and co-workers. I'm so happy that he was saved by this place from his previous job because it was a mind suck. Yay husband!

3. We're going back to California the first week in October! The hubs got picked to go to a work conference and I'm going with! While he's doing all the boring (to me anyway) work stuff, I'll be laying on the beach reading, going to a taping of 2 Broke Girls, seeing Jessica and Tameka, and visiting family.

4. My new favorite obsession is the Bath and Body Works Hot Chocolate candle. Seriously, you need to go smell it ASAP. Years ago I fell in love with a Cinnamon Toast candle being sold at Wal-Mart. For some reason it didn't last long (I still have a little saved) and I have been on the hunt for a scent that I would love just as much, if not more. The search is over.

This bad boy smells JUST like Hot Chocolate, possibly even better. I had a coupon for a free mini candle with a $10 purchase and figured why not. It smelled good in the store but I wasn't getting my hopes up in case it didn't smell like it when it burned but It smelled even better! I decided I needed to stock up so I went back and got another mini candle and the largest one they carry (I had to spend my $10 off $30 coupon of course) and I fully plan on going back to get more. I'm planning a giveaway soon so don't be surprised if you find one of these included.

5. I'm SUPER excited about 2 movies this weekend. Can you guess which ones? I'll give you hints...


Could this movie weekend get any better?! My all-time favorite Disney movie is being re-leased and my all-time favorite actor has movie #2 of the year out! I have 2 tests next week (one of which is Statistics on Monday) but you can be damn sure I'll be making time to see both of these this weekend!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, September 9, 2011

book nerdery at its finest

One of the highlights from 2010 and now 2011 has definitely been attending the Decatur Book Festival. I fully plan on making it an annual trip as long as I can spend it with girls from my online book club because the weekend was full of awesome --even if there WERE a few hiccups.

I can't believe how lucky I am to have met all these wonderful girls and if I'm being honest, the weekend was entirely too short. Here we all are before the last panel began.

Back: Tameka, Jacki, Me, Ashley 
Front: Julie, Jennie, Heather

Saturday morning I got up early so I could make the 3 hour drive to Decatur and hopefully make it there before the first panel began at 10am. I knew this was unlikely since I was running late and not long after I left the house I had an "oh crap" moment. I realized that I forgot to convert the 10am start time from EST to CST. Yup, so now I was freaking out because I REALLY didn't want to miss the second panel of the day (Beth Revis and Myra McEntire) but I did.

By the time I got to the hotel, checked in, parked, and found where the panel was being held it was just about over and people were already forming a line for the signing. While trying to call Julie, I was looking at all the people pouring in and almost immediately saw my friend Anne Riley. She came over and stood in line with me and we had a chance to catch up since I haven't seen her since the spring.

While in line my friends showed up and we got to meet Beth and Myra. I was so excited to meet Beth and I loved that I got a chance to thank her for her support of All 4 Alabama in person. She was just as sweet as I thought she would be and I'm really looking forward to seeing her again at YALLFEST in November.

The next panel we went to was Libba Bray's. Tameka kept talking about her and how awesome she was so I was pretty excited even though I haven't read any of her books yet (I know, I know. I bought the Gemma Doyle books around the time I was getting burned out on series books though). Libba was an absolute HOOT. After the first two sentences out of her mouth, I knew I was in for a lot of laughs and she did not disappoint. She even did a mad-lib! We left the over-flow room when the Q&A session was starting and I'm glad we did. Her line ended up being almost 2 1/2 hours long! She was a joy to meet and I REALLY hope I get to see her again soon. She struck up a conversation with everyone and it was like you had known her for years.

By the time we had finished getting our books signed by Libba, Lauren Myracle's panel was almost over so a few of us went down and got in line. I haven't read Shine (or any of her books) yet and since that's what the panel was about I was OK with missing it since I didn't want to spoil things. I was starting to fret over what I would say to her when it was my turn but as soon as I gave her my book she asked why I had taken the dust jacket off and she, unknowingly, saved me from being a super awkward turtle. I also loved that she had burgundy in her hair because that's what I'm most likely going to do in the next few weeks. 

We all headed back to the hotel after Lauren's signing to rest and make dinner plans. On the way, Tameka had her first ever funnel cake. 

When we got back to the room these yummy Harry Potter cookies from Jacki were waiting for me. Aren't they adorable?! I absolutely loved Ron and couldn't eat him until I got home a showed my husband.

We ended up going to Ted's Montana Grill for Tameka's birthday dinner and I had my first bison burger. It was pretty darn good too. Here are some pictures from dinner.

 Jacki, Jennie, and Heather

 Julie's bestie, Julie, and Ashley

 She was looking at a Hello Kitty sleep mask

She got a free birthday dessert!

After dinner we stopped next door at The Chocolate Bar and got some sweets and then went back to the room to hang out a bit before we all konked out. I was pretty out of it by this point, as was everyone else, so it didn't take long before we had an unofficial silent agreement to go to sleep.

Check back tomorrow for day two!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Decatur Book Festival 2011

Today begins the weekend I have looked forward to for a year. Not only does Auburn football start tomorrow but this weekend is the Decatur Book Festival!

Last year was my first year attending and I had such a good time that I couldn't wait to go back. This year I'm looking forward to seeing Beth Revis, Victoria Schwab, Libba Bray, Lauren Myracle, and Stephanie Perkins. I'm also excited to see Rachel Hawkins, Terra McVoy, and Jackson Pearce again.

The books and the authors ARE pretty awesome alone but what I'm REALLY excited for is getting to spend a weekend with some of my awesome online friends. Some of these girls have become best friends offline and others I'm only getting to meet for the first time this weekend.

If you've read my blog at all, you'll know that Julie is one of my BFF's. We met in person for the first time early last year and although she lives a couple hours away, I've seen her more since then than I've seen my friend who lives 30 minutes away. I haven't seen her in about 2 months and I miss this girl.

Heather lives in Florida and I met her for the first time in Atlanta last year. Considering she lives about 12 hours away from me, I became spoiled last year after seeing her 3 months in a row (in different cities too!) and not at all this year. She's just a fun person and I can't wait to see her!

I met Tameka for the first time in May when I went to the LA Times Festival of Books while on vacation. I've known Tameka online for several years and finally getting to meet her was like meeting up with an old friend. The fact that I'll have gotten to see her three times once this year is over is just awesome (my husband is going to LA for a work conference and I'm tagging along). This is also her birthday week so I think it's going to be an epic trip.

I'll also get to meet Jacki, Jennie, and Ashley. I've known these girls online for several years as well and I am beyond ecstatic that they're coming from as far away as Canada (Ashley) for a weekend in Georgia. They may be online friends now but I know after this weekend, they'll just be regular friends who just live to damn far away.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Five (1)

In order to back to regular blogging I thought I'd add a meme to my blog so here we go.

1. Does anybody remember the 90's boyband 5ive? This was their hit single and I was reminded if them while typing the word "five." Enjoy. If you were wondering, yes, I had their CD and probably still do somewhere.

2. I'm back in school! I'm currently going to a community college nearby to get a few courses under my new major in, Business Administration, then hopefully transferring to the local university. College has been a bumpy ride for me but after taking the last 2 years off, it feels good to be back in the classroom. It DOES help that my head is in a better place too. I'm currently taking Statistics I, Accounting I, Macroeconomics, and Business Law.

3. I was recently given the chance to be production manager on my friend's independent film. It was absolutely amazing. We wrapped filming this past Sunday and I cannot wait to see the finished product. Everybody that worked on it did a great job and I really hope I get to work with them all in the future.

4. The Decatur Book Festival is next week! I can't wait because I get to see some friends again and I get to finally meet some other friends from my online book club. It's going to be a fabulous weekend of book nerdery and it is going to be much needed.

5. Today was one of the most emotionally draining days I've ever had. My Mother-in-Law, my husband, and I had to say goodbye to their dog of the last 14 years, Annie. She's been having a a rough time lately and it had gotten to the point where her tail was always tucked and she couldn't even squat to go to the bathroom, among many other ailments. The three of us said goodbye together and dug a grave for her in my Mother-in-Laws backyard under a tree. I've cried so much today I didn't think I had any tears left. I just proved myself wrong. You will be greatly missed and forever loved pup.

RIP Annie 6/9/1997 - 8/26/2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

All 4 Alabama Update

As many of you know, earlier this year tornadoes ripped through the south and left nothing but destruction in its wake. Wanting to do something, I teamed up with the fabulous Courtney and we began All 4 Alabama that consisted of auctions to benefit and rural Alabama town that needed a little extra help.

The town Courtney and I decided upon was Hackleburg, Alabama and I am beyond ecstatic to say that with the help of so many wonderful people, we were able to donate $8,309.41 to Hackleburg Helping Hands.
This organization was created after the tornadoes hit by the people of Hackleburg FOR the people of Hackleburg. Courtney and I are SO thankful to everyone who donated items for the auctions and to those who bid. You are all rock stars in my book.

I can't begin to tell you what I'm feeling after this experience. I am BURSTING with joy and am so happy that all the hard work has paid off and we can start seeing this money be put to good use. 

So THANK YOU to everyone who was involved. I am not joking when I say that it wouldn't have been possible without you and you have a fan for life right here.

To Courtney, you are an amazing and caring person and I am so happy to call you my friend.

To everyone else, just because we aren't in the news anymore, doesn't mean that all is well yet. Every day I drive by areas where there's nothing but rubble. Where trees once stood tall and strong, you can see what's left of the houses behind them covered in tarps. 

Remember, every little bit helps and although the auctions may be closed it doesn't mean you can't still donate to Hackleburg's Helping Hands. They would appreciate it more than you know.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ringgold Reads

Many of you know I am 1/2 of the All 4 Alabama team to help raise money for a rural Alabama town that was hit hard by the destruction of the April 27th tornadoes.

Originally my friend Julie and I were going to team up together to raise money and help tornado victims but in the end we each decided to focus on different things. I really wanted to help rural Alabama and she needed to help her own community.

With the help of author Susan Gregg Gilmore and the participation of Random House, Ringgold Reads was created with a mission to rebuild the school libraries of Ringgold, Georgia and help to promote reading and writing as a way for students to express themselves after experiencing such a life-altering event.

Considering the number of books in a library, the number of different books needed is relatively small. However, the number needed of each book (70) isn't a small number. The list of books needed can be found under the Info link on the Facebook page.

Are you getting ready to start back to school shopping? Why not pick up an extra copy of The Great Gatsby or To Kill a Mockingbird? Did you see a copy of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas or A Walk to Remember marked down in your local bookstore's bargain section? Have an extra copy of The Hunger Games laying around?

Why not donate it? Every book helps and I know the teachers and students will greatly appreciate them.

Have a few unused credits on PaperBackSwap? You can use them at no charge to you AND help a great cause!

If you DO plan on donating, make sure you email them at to let them know the book and number of books you're donating so they can keep track of what they need. As for the books, you can mail those to:


I know I'll be on the hunt this tax free weekend to see what books I can snag. Will you?


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Prelude to NashCon 2011

Hi, my name is Crystal and I fangirl over the TV show Supernatural. If you know me at ALL you will know that this is my absolute favorite show and if you call me while it is on, I won't answer. If you want to do something the night of a new episode, I will consider your offer but don't be surprised if I say I'm busy.

Ever since I heard about certain movies/TV shows having conventions, I of course looked to see if there was one for Supernatural. You can imagine how giddy I was when I found out these really existed! I, Crystal, could have the chance to meet the cast one day.

For the last few years I have been STALKING Creation's website hoping and praying that Salute to Supernatural would have a stop near me. Until recently, the closest stop to Birmingham was Chicago. If you're any good at geography, you will know that this is not exactly close.

I know, I know, a true fan would drive the 11-12 hours and be happy but I can't really do that.

So imagine the squee-iness that happened when I found out they were coming to the South..and that it was only a THREE HOUR drive. Cue the jumping up and down and high-pitched noises coming from the other side of this computer. YES, that was me.

After mentioning NashCon, my internet friend and fellow Supernatural freak, Courtney, and I talked and decided we were going to go. After days of trying to get my husband to say whether he was going with or not, we finally had a yes from him and we were able to order our tickets.

To say that it was fun is a serious understatement. All four of us (Courtney's husband came with her too) had a blast and I spent most of the weekend laughing. Since it was so awesome, I'm going to post about each day so I can share it with you and also have my first con documented.

Have you ever been to a con? What was it for? If you haven't, would you?

Monday, May 9, 2011

All 4 Alabama

While on vacation, I started thinking about the Do The Write Thing for Nashville auctions and how successful that seemed to be. It was like fate. My friend Julie sent an email saying she was wanting to do some kind of auction to raise money (her town was hit pretty hard too) and that's when I knew this is what I needed to do. I immediately e-mailed Lindsey Leavitt and her enthusiasm for what I was asking her was inspiring. I couldn't wait to ask Rachel Hawkins but I did (I didn't think she'd appreciate her phone going off at 2am) but as soon as I asked she was on board as well.

Lindsey did a LOT of searching the internet for people who may have been interested in helping. She then e-mailed me saying that she found out that a few other people had already gone live with Help Write Now. Did we continue? Should we try to team up with them?

After talking to Julie, we both decided that we still wanted to continue but we would focus on smaller communities and try to adopt them. When I shared this with Lindsey, she replied and said I should contact Courtney who was coordinating something with the same sentiment. So I did.

Courtney replied and after a few emails and my flight home, we decided to meet up and discuss All 4 Alabama. We had the same vision and the same excitement for what we were going to be doing and we joined forces. In the few days since, we have emailed quite a few people in the writing community and have gotten a LOT of great feedback. As I was going through the list of people donating things for our auction, I was smiling so hard my eyes started welling up with tears.

I feel so blessed to be a part of an online community that cares so damn much about others. I have seen some of the most horrific destruction I have ever seen in the few days since I've been back home but I have also heard of so many volunteers showing up that they are turning people away! Isn't that amazing? 

So today is the day that all the hard work and planning Courtney and I have done gets shared with the rest of the world.

The goal of All 4 Alabama is to raise money through auctions and donations so we can "adopt" a rural Alabama community that may not receive as much attention in relief efforts as the larger cities such as Birmingham and Tuscaloosa and their surrounding areas. Right now these people have broken hearts and spirits and can use all the help they can get.

With all the other stuff going on in the world right now, let's not forget what happened in the South last week. There are people who are still picking through the rubble trying to salvage anything they can from their life before April 27th.

Check us out at

Also, if you make a purchase at ANY Barnes & Noble or on their website from 5/7-5/14 and you use bookfair #1048605, 10% of sales using this code go to the United Way's West AL tornado relief. Thanks to Lindsey Leavitt for this!

Devastation & Destruction

I've been sitting here trying to figure out how to start this post and there are just no words right now. To be honest, I started this post days ago and had to come back to it. The last two weeks have been full of excitement, heartbreak, laughter, and sorrow and I've been fighting with myself over everything.

For those of you who don't know me, I live in Birmingham, Alabama. Unless you've been disconnected for all things electronic, you know that on April 27th tornadoes ripped through the south leaving one of the biggest paths of destruction. This series of storms was like no other and although this storm produced over 400 tornadoes in three days, 249 of those occurred on the 27th. As of now, the death toll is at 239.

My husband and I were on vacation while all this was happening and not only did I feel terrible for enjoying myself but I felt helpless. We glued ourselves to our local ABC affiliate's iPhone app while things were still happening and as soon as we checked into our hotel, we perched in front of a TV taking it all in.

I was anxious to get back home. The rest of the trip we watched as much as we could and kept updated on family through text messages and friends through Facebook. The whole time I could only think about what I could do to help while sitting in California.

We were very fortunate. Our friends and families all made it through the storms with little-to-no damage but there are hundreds of people who cannot say the same. I can't tell you what it felt like driving through a place only 10-15 minutes from my house, to see nothing against the night sky where houses and trees should have been. My heart breaks for everyone that was affected on that day but we will rebuild and the people who lost their lives for no reason will never be forgotten.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Earrings and Bracelets and Necklaces..OH MY

I'm back!

The last few weeks have had me feeling like one of Santa's elves with all the stuff I've been making. I guess I should backtrack a bit. A few weeks ago a friend and I started talking about our ETSY shops and one thing led to another and she asked if I'd like to share a booth with her at a local arts and crafts fair.

I thought it would be fun and a good way for me to show off my handiwork and pass out a few cards and if I was lucky, actually sell some stuff. Well the fair was this past Saturday and I think it went well. I sold more than I thought I would and was even able to do a few custom orders right there. It was a great experience and I had tons of fun doing it.

I made WAY more stuff than I needed though but the silver lining is that I won't have to make certain items for my ETSY shop for some time. Also? I have some new things I'll be listing this week that include earrings, bracelets, a necklace, and bookmarks. I'm pretty excited about it.

Now that the fair is over and I'm not staying up til my eyes are half open crafting my wearables, I promise to blog more. I have a few book related things coming up and I'll be sharing those in the near future. For now, know that I haven't forgotten about all you lovelies who read this little blog of mine. I hope you're having a great week!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

One of my internet friends, Jenny, has had a tough go of things. From dealing with infertility to giving birth to preemie triplets, I can't help but think of her as Wonder Woman.

When I found out that she was going to be participating in the March of Dimes walk held on April 30th, I wanted to help. Not only did I want to help by donating money to sponsor her, I wanted to do something more.

In the last few months I have taken up a hobby of jewelry making and even opened an ETSY Shop (FunkyPineapple Designs) so I decided I would make a special bracelet in honor of the nickname she gave her babies while they were still in the oven, PB&J.

The Peanut Butter Jelly Time bracelet (seen below) can be purchased through my ETSY shop with $10 of each purchase being donated to help Jenny and her family reach their goal of raising (at least) $1,000 for their walk.

Help me help Jenny reach her goal and maybe even surpass it. You'll not only help future families that need the assistance, but you'll have a nice little thank you on your wrist from all the people that are touched each day by March of Dimes.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time bracelets can be purchased here.
Jenny's blog post talking about what March of Dimes meant to her can be found here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nods to Media in Writing

If you read my previous entry, you'll know that I love watching tv. There have been so many shows that I've watched over the years that I've never forgotten for one reason or another.

I think when it comes to writing, especially your first manuscript, a lot of who you are and what you like comes out in it. I've come across this numerous times in what I have been working on and I keep wondering things like "is this TOO much me?" or "should I save this for another character in something else I do down the road?" So far my answer has been to keep with it. It just so happens that my MC is a lot like me and it works for her. 

China Beach and Tour of Duty were shows based around war that my parents used to watch. I was only about six at the time but I remember watching some of these episodes. I can't tell you what happened except I remember liking them. Mostly I remember the songs used as the theme songs and they are two of my favorites. The song Reflections by Diana Ross and the Supremes has remained a favorite of mine and I even used part of the song as one of the email addresses I created a few years ago.

I was brought up in a house where the music of the '50s, '60s, and early '70s was pretty much the soundtrack. I still love the music and one of my favorite musicians of those time periods is Buddy Holly. Can you guess why I'm telling you this?

Yes, my MC has a crush on somebody who looks up to Buddy Holly. He has the dark hair, he longs to be the musician that Buddy Holly was and most recognizably he sports the same style glasses Holly wore (and yes, I one day want to visit Clear Lake, Iowa to see the shrine for Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, who I'm also a huge fan of).

As for television, I can only recall (so far) one show that has crept into my writing and that would be Breaker High (laugh it up chuckle-butt). This was one of my favorite shows when I was in middle school and it was the show that put Ryan Gosling on my radar. Although it wasn't exactly his most noticeable work, it's one of my most memorable of him. He has been my favorite actor ever since (yes, I've bought all his movies as soon as they came out. My favorite is The United States of Leland) so when I was naming a location within my story, I used the last name of his character (Hanlon) as the name of the place.

Dracula: Dead and Loving It is also mentioned in my WIP because I love this movie (yes, this IS my favorite vampire movie) and it was a big part of sleepovers at my friend's house when I was in middle school. So of course when my MC and her BFF have a movie night, this is one of the movies that they watch.

Will people who aren't me know these things? Of course not but it's still fun to sneak these kinds of tidbits in there. These are my Easter eggs and I know that my chances of getting published are low and right now I'm just writing for myself, but should the day come where you get to read a book by me, know these little nods to my favorite shows, movies, and music will undoubtedly be present.

Basically, I love media. I would be bored to tears without music, tv, movies, and books. Have you noticed any authors who like to do this?

Are you a writer? Do you find yourself sneaking in these kinds of things?

If you're not a writer but know an author does these types of things, do you think it's distracting to what you're reading or are you more inclined to look at it as a treasure hunt?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hear me when I say..

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught, Nevada

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped
body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry
groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Want to hear what some of my friends sound like? Here are some of their videos:
So what's the verdict on my accent?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


First I want to say that I can't believe that I haven't posted this year! I was bit by the procrastination bug and we all know that he worms his way into our brains and tells us what we can do today can also be done tomorrow or the day after. Pesky little bugger.

The hubs and I have had Netflix for quite a while but it was only in the last few months that we were given the opportunity to stream shows and movies from our Wii without having to insert a disc. To be honest, when the discs were first sent out for the Wii, there wasn't much on my queue that would allow for streaming.

I don't know if you remember but one of the first things I really watching using this method was the complete series of Veronica Mars. That was the beginning of the end.

I absolutely ADORED Veronica Mars and started wondering what other shows that I had always wanted to watch and never got the chance were hanging around waiting for me.

Soon after the hubs and I met Dexter. I always heard Dexter was a great show but I just left it at "we don't have Showtime." We have since become up to date on Dexter and also have a subscription to Showtime (which we'll continue the HBO/Showtime Tango for True Blood/Dexter).* I LOVE that show now and we were even able to get my mother-in-law hooked and she bought all the seasons on blu-ray.

After we were done with Dexter, I felt this emptiness (don't make fun) of not having a new old show to fall in love with. It didn't last long because almost two weeks ago I re-met Michael Scofield and Prison Break.

I was a follower of 24 from the beginning and I know Prison Break was paired up with it but for some reason I never really got into at the time it was airing. I think part of the reason was because the first episode I actually saw on TV was in the middle of the season and I hate not seeing shows like that from the beginning. We're currently a few episodes shy of starting season 3 and I'm LOVING this ride (plus, you know, Wentworth Miller is VERY easy on the eyes..oh his eyes).

So thank you Netflix dudes for allowing Wii users to stream awesome tv shows. I'll be sad when Prison Break is over but maybe I'll fill that void with something new like Bones or Firefly or maybe an old friend like Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I haven't seen in a while.

Yes, in case you didn't know I'm a TV junkie and I love getting into new shows just like I love getting into new books.

Do you have any suggestions on what I should add to my streaming queue?

*Last summer we ordered HBO so we could watch True Blood over the summer and a few weeks ago we realized the only way we could watch season 5 of Dexter was to order Showtime. We called our cable company and without even a price change, switched from HBO to Showtime and we'll be switching back again for the summer.