Silver Linings

I woke up this morning thinking that it was Friday. It’s not. I am extremely disappointed.
Silver lining: Tomorrow is Friday!

Thursday

The puppy’s been on a chewing spree. The largest casualty? Our two TV remote controls
Silver lining: Comcast replaces remotes for free, no matter what shape they’re in!

chewed remote

The JA’s going out of town soon, leaving me and the aforementioned chewer to our own devices.
Silver lining: Bed all to myself.

NOT our bed. click image for source

NOT our bed. click image for source

What are your silver linings for this week?

Wake Up Call

We’ve all heard about the importance sleep plays in our physical development.  But what about our mental well-being? I’m very lucky in that when working late for an event, my boss allows me to arrive late the next day. Arriving home anywhere between 9:30p and 10p, slowing down, and then getting up at 5:30a can be done (I did it today), but skimping on sleep isn’t the way to go – in either one’s personal or professional life. Just look at the stats!

 (click image for source)

(click image for source)

With my Lenten promise of stopping technology use at 10p sharp, I can attest that I sleep better than when I’m online/watching TV until I go upstairs. I’ve found myself reading a book (not on my Kindle) and dozing off on the couch. Once safely tucked in bed, I wake the next morning with more energy and feeling better prepared to tackle the day.

What are your  tips and tricks for getting a good night’s sleep?

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing

I have a goal to read at least 24 books this year. Ideally, this will break down to two books per month – one will be the book for my Book Club, the other will be one of my personal choice.

While waiting for this month’s book to become available from the library, I picked up this gem.

Girls Guide to Hunting & Fishing

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Hailed by critics as the debut of a major literary voice, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing dazzled and delighted readers and topped bestseller lists nationwide. Now, in anticipation of her upcoming new work of fiction, The Wonder Spot, Penguin is publishing Melissa Bank’s bestseller in a mass-market format to reach an even wider audience.

Generous-hearted and wickedly insightful, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing maps the progress of Jane Rosenal as she sets out on a personal and spirited expedition through the perilous terrain of sex, love, and relationships as well as the treacherous waters of the workplace. With an unforgettable comic touch, Bank skillfully teases out issues of the heart, puts a new spin on the mating dance, and captures in perfect pitch what it’s like to be a young woman coming of age in America today.

My Thoughts:
A quick, easy, and entertaining read, this book was a great follow up to A Prayer for Owen Meany. it made me giggle in more places than not, shake my head in agreement, and reminisce about my own journey through life. It got better toward the end (as the title comes into play) but was enjoyable overall. While it wasn’t a book that I was dying to pick up at the end of the day, it was just want I needed at the moment.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I like to read. And eat. And do other things. For a comprehensive list of products I’ve reviewed, click here.

Words and Deeds

This weekend, I ventured out to one of my favorite places – Home Goods. I went in looking for a dog bed, but, per usual, I ended up browsing the store and coming away with a ton of pictures on my phone.

For some reason, many of the ones from Saturday were pieces of art with decorative words and sayings.

words 1 words 2 words 3

Being a writer, reader, and general lover of words, these struck a chord. A good quote can lift you up, same as a snippy comment can bring you down.

Let’s try to not let the Monday blues get to us. Rather, let’s lift each other up and make this week a great one, shall we?

If you like these sayings, take a gander at my Pinterest board for ‘Words and Phrases.’ It’s where I go when I need a boost!

A Prayer for Owen Meany

So, as you may remember, this book took me three tries to get through. I originally started in early December and finished in late February. The process was brutal, but I made it!

prayer for Owen MeanySynopsis (from Goodreads):
John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany is the inspiring modern classic that introduced two of the author’s most unforgettable characters, boys bonded forever in childhood: the stunted Owen Meany, whose life is touched by God, and the orphaned Johnny Wheelwright, whose life is touched by Owen. From the accident that links them to the mystery that follows them–and the martyrdom that parts them–the events of their lives form a tapestry of fate and faith in a novel that is Irving at his irresistible best.

My Thoughts:
While this book was long (637 pages), there was something that kept me coming back to it. I would read a bit, get bored, abandon it for other books, come back to it, get bogged down – it was a vicious cycle. Yet, even with the struggles that came with trying to be invested in the characters and get into the plotline, this story was always in the back of my mind. It intrigued me. I wanted to know what happened.

At the start of the book, the ending is told to you. But you don’t know how or why it happens, and that’s the bulk of the plot. You follow the main character and his best friend, Owen, throughout their entire lives – tragedy and triumph, pranks and prejudice. It’s a touching story, and certainly one that speaks to the bond of lifelong friendship. It’s well written and poignant, but not too stuffy (if that makes any sense). It doesn’t take itself too seriously and speaks about America during a time of war and uncertainty.

In short, I’m glad I stuck it out and finished reading it. Most of the big things are explained in the end (which is a big plus for me) and while I don’t know if I’ll be rereading it anytime soon, it was nice to get a break from my normal genre and try something new.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

IF you found this review helpful and want to check out my thoughts on other books, movies, food, and a few miscellaneous items, check out my Reviews page!

A Pen and A Piece of Mind

After I wrote about how I’ve started multiple posts but finished few, I went along my merry way. I thought it was a big case of writer’s block and that inspiration would strike, I would become less stressed, and I would be able to have the patience and words to finish a post of which I was proud to hit ‘publish.’

Well, it happened in Starbucks. I was there for a meeting and the person was running late. I pulled out the book that I have been keeping in my purse for occasions such as these and started to write.

notebook

It was so nice. Being at a computer all day, especially when writing is a big part of my job, can sometimes affect the rest of my life. Getting back to the basics and stripping away the links, images, social media considerations and other stuff gave me the freedom I needed to get back what I had lost.

The next few weeks are still a bit crazy. However, it’s nice to know that it wasn’t my words that were missing. I needed to reset, get down to what matters, and write without fear.

Here’s to a great weekend!

Note: Special thanks to Houston Calls for the song that inspired this title.

Looking for Alaska

It’s no secret that I enjoy the writing style and personality of John Green. (I mean, hello, The Fault In Our Stars? Vlog Brothers? Completely AMAZING.)

So when I was looking for book options for our honeymoon, I sorted through his catalog of work and selected Looking for Alaska.

looking for alaska

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

My Thoughts:
I would love to say that I adored this book, but I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. However, after the Fault In Our Stars, I feel like it was a little lackluster. It had all the qualities that I believe a Young Adult novel should have: angst, awkwardness, peer pressure, the need to fit in, a love interest, and a keen sense of growing pains. It made me laugh, wince, cover my eyes, and even tear up. Yet even with all that, it just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.

While it was a great book and I would recommend it, it wasn’t the stay-up-late, skip meals, can’t-put-it-down novel that I was hoping for.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Psst, if you liked this and would like to read more reviews, check out my Reviews page; I share my thoughts on books, movies, food and other fun stuff!