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.