Friday, July 31, 2015

What I'm Into (July 2015)

Well every month, I think that's it, you've watched so much tv that your brain has surely melted. Well done. But then the next month rolls around and my brain is still functioning and I watch even MORE tv.

I'm truly living the life.

What I'm Watching: July was big for movies.

I rented St Vincent, which was just every single bit as good as people (what people?) said it would be.  I laughed, I cried a little, two very enthusiastic thumbs up. We also rented Kingsman which was...different than I was expecting.  It was HYPER violent.  Like, Quentin Tarantino violent.  Watching Mr. Darcy brutally slay all those wackos in that's sort of been seared into my brain.  It was good! Don't get me wrong.  Just be's MEGA violent.  And what the hell- you have to be willing to kill your dog to pass the test?!?! What kind of lesson is THAT?

I watched Eleanor Rigby one night when Nick was out and it was meh.  I watched the Them version, maybe I should have watched the other two? I don't know.  It was good enough, just nothing to write home about.  I wouldn't waste my time actually. Maybe I would.  Everyone put in an AMAZING performance, maybe it's worth it for that?

I cried my way thru Fault in Our Stars.  Everything you'd expect.  I tend to shy away from cancer stories bc I had two terribly hard deaths when I worked oncology and so fiction gets into my head and gets all warped with's a whole big thing.  But this was good.  Laura Dern KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF. The scene where she tells Hazel it's okay to let go? MY HEART.

And at the theater, I went to see Spy, which I'm gonna go out on a limb and announce as the best movie of 2015.  It was SO FUCKING FUNNY.  I almost had a heart attack.  If you (like me) thought Melissa McCarthy was an overrated one hit are WRONG.  I was wrong.  She is absolutely BRILLIANT. And I've always loved Jason Statham but he is TO DIE FOR in this.  "I watched the woman I love get tossed from a plane and hit by another plane mid-air. I drove a car off a freeway on top of a train while it was on fire. Not the car, *I* was on fire." One more, I can't help myself "Nothing kills me. I'm immune to 179 different types of poison. I know because I ingested them all at once when I was deep undercover in an underground poison-ingesting crime ring."

I'm literally crying laughing just remembering it.

I also went to see Terminator and screw the critics- I loved it.  I was totally satisfied.  Of COURSE it's not as good as one or two.  DUH.  But as its own movie it was absolutely fine. Why are critics such assholes all the time?!?!

And lastly, we went to see Inside Out when it wouldn't stop raining last weekend.  It was good, I cried a little, but I was expecting...more.  I don't know.  So many people were all this is the best movie ever invented and I did think it was good.  Just...not mind blowing.  Does that make me a heartless bitch? Losing those 'islands' seemed like a normal part of growing up.  Maybe I missed something bc I was busy with the kids? Lol.  Yeah right, Nick took care of the kids. Anyway, I certainly didn't think it was better than Big Hero Six or even Wreck it Ralph.  

Let's hold off on tv for a while, bc it's a lot.  A LOT a lot. 

What I'm Reading: So many books.  Since last What I'm Into, I've read Second Life (sucked), Ice Twins (meh), Good Girl (SOOOO AMAZING), The Bear (so good), and Big Little Lies (surprisingly stellar.  Next on the docket is Case Histories, The Kind Worth Killing, and Three.  I'm STILL waiting for the dang library to get Finder's Keepers and Invasion of the Tearling.  Part of me says just bite the bullet and buy them (the kinlde would be easier to read in Greece...) but part of me is just stubborn and REFUSED to pay for something that would be free if the library would just get with the program!!

What I'm Looking Forward To: Greece.  Obviously.  No, we're not worried about riots or people not taking our money, and no I don't need to hear a twenty minute lecture about why we should cancel.  Thanks anyway.  We're spending four days in Santorini and then four days in Athens.  And I haven't planned a single fucking thing.  Holy moly, I better get cracking.  You know I loved a detailed itinerary.  Can "lay by the pool for seven hours' count?

As always, linking up with Leigh Kramer to see what everyone else is into lately.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Five (errr, Seven...) Images of Summer

When I was younger, we had a boat.  Well I guess we had more than one.  The first one was sort of a mustard yellow, then we upgraded to a regular white and blue one.

We're not talking yachts here.  Obviously.  We're talking small boats that fit our family of five and a pair of skis.  We lived on the Back Bay in Biloxi and there was a boat dock in the neighborhood, and whenever my dad was home (he works week-on week-off on oil rigs) we would take the boat out.  Putt around the river (was it a river? Just a bay? I have no idea) drinking diet Coke and taking turns skiing.  Sometimes we'd land at a beach (sandbar?) and set up lawn chairs to read books.

It was sort of awesome.  I know I enjoyed it at the time, but I feel like, with hindsight and whatever, I love it even more now.

Nick and I had a small boat when we first got married, but I have no idea what happened to it.  I would imagine we sold it, but why? We always live by the water.  Something to do with submarines, you know?
this isn't even our boat. why did i never take pictures?!?!

I don't have a picture of Past Jenn and her family on that boat, skiing away the summers.  I don't know what my point is.  Water, that's my point.  I guess I associate summer with water? Here, let's use this iconic beach family self timer shot.  You really nailed it, Nikki.

The idea of get stationed somewhere like Nebraska is my worst nightmare.  I guess maybe they have lakes? Rivers? Who knows.  My heart is racing just thinking about being boxed in on all sides by more land.  I need WATER. I just have to have it.  We have to live on the coasts, and that's just all there is to it.

Although I think this picture is from Auburn (???) which isn't on a coast, and look, they still have water.
When was this? Surely Auburn doesn't have a waterfall...Look at how skinny and fabulous Past Jenn is!!! I DIE.

London isn't on any sort of coast, right? I don't even know.  There's a river. But in our subarbs, at least, there's lots of water.  Lidos, they're called.  Plus the aquadrome.  Plus England is a tiny island and we can, in a bind, just load up and drive to the coast.

The freezing, rocky coast.

My dream would be to live in Cornwall, except that the water is waaaaaay down below the land.  And I've proven time and again that I'm just too fat for hiking.

Maybe lose some weight?


Maybe we're starting new summer traditions? I'm still not on board with this whole 'camping' business, but maybe one day Future Ava will be writing about a perfect image of summer and it will revolve around camping?

Hopefully time will erase the image of her giant manatee mother falling into the mud while trying to get down to the beach.  I got road rash on calf and it REALLY hurts. She wasn't very symathetic.  In fact, her exact words were: SEE?!?! I knew you would fall!!! I've always been worried that Scott would grow up to be a serial killer, but maybe I should have been keeping an eye on Ava.  Empathy, Ava.  That's what sets regular assholes apart from serial killers.

I wouldn't mind warm summers, but I don't wanna make the deal with the devil and end up with Biloxi summers.  A hundred a fifty billion degrees is too hot.  I'll just order a new sweatshirt and get the kids thicker towels.

So there you go.  This post sort of got away from me.  Blushing emoji.  I started with Mama Kat's prompt numero tres What five images paint a perfect picture of summer to you?  Put those five images together in a piece of writing. Was I supposed to use words to paint the picture? I went with actual pictures...hmm...

I started with wanting to talk about how it felt when I was little, going out on the water with my parents, but the words just didn't work. Maybe it's just all about water? Have you heard this song? Love it. Minus the part about the wet teeshirt contest, that's just tacky.

As always, linking up with the Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Disney 2008

*We went camping again last weekend. I don't know if I'm ever going to recover.  EVER*

So the last project on my list of converting half finished physical scrapbooks into computer versions that are actually DONE was our 2008 Disney trip.  I pitched the physical album when we moved here, but haven't had the chance to get started on the digital version until now. 

It was the summer I got out of the Navy.  Scott had just turned one the previous April, and Ava was two and a half. 

My mom went with us. I have to be honest...I don't remember much of this trip.  I remember it was fun, but I don't remember the logistics. Where did we stay? How did we get there? How long were we there? The pics are all called like DSC10097 instead of the date and time, so I can't even cheat.

The kids are almost NEVER looking at the camera.  One and two year olds just don't understand how important memories of their first Disney trip are!!! THESE ARE MEMORIES PEOPLE!!! If it didn't happen on IG, it didn't happen!!

I do remember our matching shirts.  I'd like to pretend I'm cringing at the idea, but I can't- I still think it's badass.  I found little boys Hawaiian shirts at Old Navy and just happened to see the men's version on my way to the register, so I snapped them up.  Still think we were rad.

I used these papers from The Lilypad.  I bought them to do my One Little Word album this year...but then I quit that.  So there you go. The alphas are a retired set called Cartoon Block by Just Jamie and I LOOOOVE them.  They're distressed outlines, but they're super easy to select the middle and fill it under with white.  LOVE those alphas, seriously.

I got the project life style templates from this shop, then I stretched them to fit the 12x8 page I wanted. Font is All the Cool Chicks by Darcy Baldwin.

And then, bc it's cheaper to add pages to an already existing book than to have two separate books, I'm going to figure out a way to end on this pic and then start into our Disney 2010 trip.  That way they're in the same book and I'm DONE with this project. I used different papers and a different font, but I think it's cohesive enough that it won't be too awful, and it'll be nice for Warren to get to see some with himself. He gets so sad looking thru books of just Ava and Scott.  Weirdo.
Plus how cute is tiny little baby Ava? Also, fun fact- we took home a super sweet souvenir from Disney World- Warren.  Crying from laughing emoji.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Nine Things I'd Rather Be Doing Today

I'm having a writing blocking funk or something, so I found an old prompt list from Mama Kat and decided to give it a go.  The prompt for today was "List 9 things you'd rather be doing today." I'm gonna treat this as a free-write sort of thang.

1. I'd rather be laying out somewhere warm and sunny with a good book.  I'm sick to death of the rain (yes, I know it's London, but still!!) and the book I'm reading is good not great, so that's that.

2. I'd rather be watching a fabulous movie.  We rented Ex Machina this weekend (amazing) and I went and saw Terminator last night (critics are crackheads- that movie was RAD) but remember like the first time you saw Goonies? And it was so good, and it's always good, but it'll NEVER be the same as the very first time you watched it.  I want to magically watch it again for the very first time.  Along those lines, I'd like to magically read the Harry Potters for the first time again too.  Please and thankyou.

3. I'd rather not be getting ready to go pick up the boys.  I love year round school, don't get me wrong, I just wish their schedules lined up better with Ava's.  She's been out since the tenth, and going from being one of four children to one of just one is not working out well for her at all.  She's bored and lonely and moody and then when they FINALLY get home to play with her, she's a total brat and just fights with them until bedtime.  FUN STUFF.

4. I'd rather be finding my favorite Castiel stitch marker that stupid Daisy stole and then LOST than having to buy a replacement.  The lady knows I'm in a bind, so she's charging me a few bucks for the marker, and the same price for shipping!!! It's highway robbery!! But at the same time, what, she's just supposed to give me one for free because my stupid sticky kids can't keep their hands to themselves? Ugh.  My life is hard.

5. I'd rather be super skinny but still able to eat crapola.  And feel good.  I want to eat a bunch of crap, have an amazing body, and feel like I eat nothing but vegetables and boiled chicken breasts.

6. I'd rather Nick didn't have to work, but he still got paid.  Then we could watch tv together all day and make out on the couch and the kids would all be at school and not bothering me at all.

7. I'd rather Megan and Samantha still lived here.  There was this lady talking to David today with her back to me as I walked up, and she had shoulder length, thick black hair, and even though I knew it wasn't her, I just knew it was Megan!! And then I got there and (duh) it wasn't her. Because she's in Hawaii with MY sunshine.  And Samantha is so busy living her real life that she doesn't text me all hours of the day.  Lame.

8. I'd rather these two righteous babes lived in London.  Enough said.

9. I'd rather not do this anymore because despite my friends all abandoning me and the fact that the stupid sun REFUSES to come out and the idea that maybe I've already seen all the good movies ever, my life is pretty badass and I'd rather ditch this computer and go bug Nick.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Finish It Up Friday

I've sort of finished up a LOT since the last time I took stock, and it's only been like a month!! That must be bc I'm such a badass.  Or bc I just really love watching Supernatural and the best place to watch it where everyone will leave me alone is in my craft room.  WHICHEVER.

First up is a teeshirt quilt I made for a friend here.  It wasn't my favorite project because let's face it, tee shirts aren't exactly as gorgeous as Katarina Roccella fabric, but the friend seems to like it enough.

I used this grid to lay it out, and then this tutorial to stabilize the stretchy teeshirt fabric.  I had to change up the grid quite a bit to fit the shirts she gave me, and I had a lot of blanks that I filled in with  a few rectangles of Robert Kaufman's mammoth flannel and some kona solids.  I didn't take any pics of the back, but it's this flannel and I gotta say, it gives my go-to minky a run for its money as far as gorgeous snuggleupness.  I used a sheet for batting and quilted it in straight lines, sort of mimicking the idea of flannel for spacing.

I'm still addicted to sock knitting.  No idea why I love it so much, but I'm gonna take advantage while I can.  Going from this...

to this....
is so fricking satisfying.

I will say that I get sort of bored. I like to have two going at once (not on the same needles, I'm not brave enough to try that yet...) but I don't like to have them as a pair. I like to work on two different socks.  Which is fun for the working part, but then I end up with....not a pair.

So then I have to make two more before I get a pair.  But then I get two pairs, so that's cool?

Anyway. The short ones are Mara Catherine Bryner's free Rose City Rollers, which have become my absolute favorite thing to work on, and the taller one is Erica Lueder's free Hermione's Everyday Socks, which is fun enough, but one of the rows is K1, P1, K2 and for some reason I absolutely LOATHE that row.  So weird.  And for all these socks I've been using the (not free but only a dollar) Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist.

And lastly, a triangley-pouchy-costmetic-baggy thing.

I plan on doing a tutorial bc I had a terrible time finding help making this!!! Mostly bc I don't know what it's called.  I have an old Vera Bradley cosmetic bag, and that's what I wanted, so I went from there.
I'm going to use this for shower stuff when we go camping, so I lined it with an old laminated cotton placemat.  Work with what you got, right? I love it!! Love it.  But like I said, I plan on doing a tutorial bc I had such a terrible time trying to figure it out!! Just gotta think of what to call it so anyone else who's looking can find it easier...

Linking up with Flamingo Toes for Show&Tell...

...and Sew Can She for Show Off Saturday.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book Report: Shining Girls and Ice Twins

It seems, lately, that I've been reading one AMAZEBALLS book, followed by a dud.  Is it me? Just bad luck? Do I think the second one is a sucks just because the first one was so great?  Who knows.

Let's start with the amazeballs- The Shining Girls.

I don't know HOW on earth I missed this when it made the rounds.  It's absolutely everything I love: some supernatural, some crime, fabulous character building, eighties, time travel, creepy serial killers...seriously, I don't know how I missed it.  And I didn't even go the library for it- I was there for something else and I saw it on an endcap and I remembered maybe Meredith mentioning it a while ago? So I grabbed it.

And devoured it in three days.

(Side note, after scouring her blog, I think Meredith reviewed Wicked Girls and I got confused? Lucky mistake!!!)

Here's what I had to say immediately following this masterpiece: I know I say this all the time, but seriously- one of the best books I've ever read. How did I miss this when it came out?!?! Gorgeously written, well thought out, edge of your seat plot, creeped me out beyond belief- absolutely perfect. I can't think of a single complaint. Two very enthused to thumbs up.

Is there really anything else to say?  The back of the book (my copy at least) was pretty vague:

 The girl who wouldn't die hunts the killer who shouldn't exist.

The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own." 

Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.

Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

And I kind of liked going into to it almost blind.  It jumps around in time (obviously, because this IS a time travel book) and I had to flip back a lot to remind myself of the dates, but in the end I don't think it really mattered.

It's pretty graphic when it comes to the murder scenes.  He doesn't rape anyone, but there are a few sex scenes. And Harper is CREEPY.  He's not like Hannibal where he's kind of cool, or Dexter where he's super sexy.  He's not a killer that you can have any feeling for other than disgust and horror.  He's disgusting, and horrifying.

And I just LOVED it.

Highly recommend, although with the caveats- brutally graphic killing scenes, and sex scenes with a grosso disgusting creeptastic all around BAD GUY.

Then we've got The Ice Twins, which I saw in EW. I think. Oh!! That reminds me, while I was on goodreads to say that I was 'currently reading' the Shining Girls, I saw that Stephen King himself had written it up as one of the best books of 2013, back when he wrote for EW regularly.  Sigh.  Those were the days. So that's probably why I recognized it when I saw it.

Anyway, EW let me down with this one.  And with Second Life, but that's another post for another day.

Right after I finished it, I got on goodreads to say:  At first glance, I'd give it five stars. I am OBSESSED with identical twins (CLONES!!!) and I like creepy, so that was all fab. But then when I think about how STUPID the parents were, the five stars start falling. Why would anyone think a good idea for a grieving family would be to pack up and move to a completely and totally isolated island? That's ridiculous. And, what, it never dawned on these people to get their kid some therapy? 

And I stand by that.  It was entertaining, even enjoyable, but it went so far past defying my beliefs that I just can't wrap my mind around it.  How could you NOT put your kid in therapy? Who on God's green earth thinks oh, my family has been shattered and we're grieving, let's move to a completely isolated island with no phones, no internet, no friends, and hope our creepy daughter gets all better all by herself? Plus, the mom's GP?!?!  GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK.  No one, NO ONE, let alone a professional!!! No one would suggest what he suggests.

I really do love identical twins though.  "You know what's NOT one of a kind?!?! TWINS!!!"

From the back of the bookA year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident,
Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?
I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the ending.  Or maybe not enjoyed so much as was satisfied with. And I liked how even though it's written in the first person, every few chapters is told from someone else's point of view.  I would have assumed that I would HATE that because it's not possible- an I did this story shouldn't be able to take another view unless that other view is ALSO an I did this view, but it worked for me for this story.

I also enjoyed how thoroughly CREEPY Kirstie and Lydia were.  Apparently I really like to be creeped out? Who knew.

Ya'll read anything good lately? I'm always up for another trip to the library!!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Day in the Life

Yes.  I'm one of those mommy bloggers.

Cast: Me, a few months into being 33, Nicholas 37, Ava 9.5, Scott 8, Warren 6, and Daisy June is about halfway thru being 4.  We are old. This was Monday, July 6, 2015.

0455: First alarm goes off. Confuses me, even though it goes off every weekday.  I paw at my phone until the noise stops.

0500: Second alarm.  Ugh.  I wake up this time, but don't manage to make it out of the bed.  Play on IG and pinterest, nod off a few more times and wake up each time the phone hits my face.

0520: Up for real.  Get dressed, make water, exercise in the living room.  Right now, I'm doing the Booty Boot Camp and I sort of like it, it's not my favorite routine.  It's only three days a week, you're supposed to do your own workouts on Tuesday and Thursday, but a lot of times I just skip those.  That can't be good. Today's routine is 44 minutes and I want to die long before it's over.

0545: The girls are awake.  Gross.  Ava sits in the glider to write something, but Daisy lays on the couch so she can run commentary for me.  "Mama, she doesn't look like you."  "You're not doing it like she's doing it." "Her leg is WAAAAY higher than yours." "You don't jump high like she does."

Thanks Dais.

0615-0655: Dead on the floor, but I get my beloved screen, so hooray for me. Nick is down from his workout and the boys are thundering on the stairs, so I make another water and head up for my shower.  I hate water so much. Shower, lotion up, (sooooo itchy!!! This pollen is ruining my life!!!) make the bed, (my house is always a wreck, but I love having the bed made. Isn't that weird?) don my trusty yoga pants and a chambray popover, then head downstairs to join the crying and fighting.

0700: Kiss Nick goodbye, even though he informs me that International Kissing Day is over and I should have taken more advantage Monday.

0700-0730: Eat the eggs Nick makes me every day (be jealous ladies.  Be very jealous) and drink my first cup of coffee.  Scroll IG.  Daisy is walking around crying bc I won't let her play on the phone.  She paints a picture, then crumbles it up and says she hates me.  Everyone is already dressed (they're always up early, but today they got up even EARLIER) and has brushed teeth (I'm calling bullshit) and thrown their laundry down.  I'm not sure how that one started, but that's what we do: they throw their laundry bags over the bannister and I collect it from the hallway floor.  What?!?! I load the dishwasher and wipe up the counters.  The cuckoo clock signals the start of Kindle time, they all cheer and grab their shit and race to the couch.

I'm raising lazy sloths.  But it keeps them quiet, so I don't have the heart to make a no kindle in the morning rule.
0730-0810: Iron some labels into Dub's new trousers.  He apparently shot up eight inches overnight, none of this clothes fit.  Since I'm already at the board, I press and trim threads on my latest salvaged-material project bag.  Isn't that bird to DIE for?!?! I now have more bags than anyone could ever need or use, so if anyone wants one, shoot me an email.  I'll give you a good deal ;) Start first two loads of laundry, play on my phone, dry my hair, add mascara.

0815-0910: School run!! I actually really enjoy this hour.  The kids are contained, the boys entertain each other while I talk to Ava, I get to listen to fun music, drink hot coffee...what's not to love? Ava just hops out of the car and walks in on her own, but I have to park and walk the boys and baby in.  It's a LOT less fun without Megan.  I try to make small talk with this dad, but it's just awkward without her there as a buffer and I'm pretty sure we're both beyond relieved when someone blows the whistle.  After I walk Warren in, I sit in the car and read for ten minutes while I wait for traffic to clear.  Traffic's indescribable. I know it's not as bad as like DC or even Norfolk, but it's just WEIRD.  It's always two lanes of traffic trying to fit into one lane that's open.  It's not going to work, people!!! Yet they continue to try it.  Every fucking day.  So I read.  And this book is SOOOO GOOD!!!

0915-1000: Ahhh, home.  House to myself.  Swap out the laundry. Grab third cup of coffee, this one iced- even though it's not at ALL summer out there today, we're gonna fake it till we make it- then sit at the computer. Work on my to-do list. I like to make the lists a LOT more than I like doing anything on it. I don't really have ANYTHING going on, so it's all cleaning and bullshit like that anyway.  BORING.  Quit that to shop for some stuff I pinned from Pop Up Princess to make for camping.  Last weekend, I didn't bring shower stuff bc I assumed that camping showers would be gross and awful, but everyone else was using them, and they were actually REALLY nice.  And in just two days I got REALLY gross.  So at the end of the month, we're going for four nights, so I'm going to have to shower at some point.  Besides, nothing makes a not-very-exciting-activity more exciting than shopping, amiright?!?! Head to Southern Fabric to make sure I still love the fabric I ordered last night.  I'm making quilts for Holly's twins!!! SQUEEEEEE!!! I still love both collections, but it's making me slightly uncomfortable that I can't decide which one I like better.  Maybe need to slow down on the coffee?

1000-1040: Drag myself away from the computer, wishing I could just play all day.  Sweep under the breakfast bar and the hallway- for four children who do nothing but play kindle, they sure do track in a lot of dirt and grass.  What's that about? Bring all the upstairs shit laying around the house up, bring all the downstairs shit down.  Why can't people put stuff away? Or at least on the proper level of the house? I do the whole "one chore a day" instead of ever cleaning the entire house, and today is dusting.  Not my fave, but I knock it out pretty quickly, all things considered.  I love the smell of pledge.

Change the nursery sheets bc we might have an overnight guest tonight, cry for a few minutes because there's no longer a crib in the nursery, and there never will be again.  Then I think about this day (and dozens more just like it) and remembered that I hate babies, so I got over it quickly.

1040-1120: Watch the Alison part of the second to last episode of The Affair.  I am just about fed up with this show.  It was so good at the beginning, and now it's just boring and they're both gross awful people who sort of make me want to vomit.  But I've already invested so much time in it, I have to watch the finale.  Because I am a loser.

Fold first load of laundry and knit while watching. I hate laundry.

1130-1300: Go pick up Daisy, who is all smiles even though she was crying when I dropped her off.  Of course.  We clean out the car (she just sits there while I collect seven thousand gogurt wrappers and six different chambray button downs that I use as cardigans and countless empty crystal lite packets) then head in for lunch.  Mac and cheese and buttered toast for her, bagel for me.  We're apparently carbo loading.  I chug another two liters of gross water.  Water sucks. But I aim for five liters a day and I like to have four done before I have my cherry coke zero, so chugging it is.  So gross.  Get the dishwasher started for the first load of the day (it's really really small so we have to run it twice a day, which certainly can't be good for the power bill?), tidy up from lunch.  Daisy paints for a few minutes while I do all this boring stuff, then she cuddles with me on the couch. Watch an episode of Mr. Maker then it's upstairs for naps and to put away the first basket of clothes.  Have I mentioned my distaste for laundry?

1300-1445: PARTY TIME!!! Pop open my Cherry Coke Zero, watch the Noah part of The Affair, fold more laundry, finish the FLK heel on my new sock.  Tidy up the living room while watching that stupid show. Text with Angela and Holly, layout some more plusses on the quilt that I am not at all excited to work on.  It's for me, which means no one else is paying for it, which means I haven't ordered the backing or binding for it, so what's the point in making the top? Wish it was sunny so I could go lay out, but it's just gross and almost raining.  Watch an episode of The Middle while I play on the computer. Nap time is my favorite time of the day.  I don't know why it's different than the morning time, but I just love it.

1450-1545: Wake up Daisy, she's in a good mood.  It's fifty fifty these days.  Load her up, grab some snacks, head to the boys' school.  We have to go early (they don't get out till 1515) because the street shares parking with another school and it's AWFUL to try to find a spot.  We get a fab one today, though, so Daisy plays minecraft while I read some more, then we head in a get them.  Give them snacks while we wait for traffic to clear, explain that we can't go to the park because it's drizzling, but mostly I just don't want to.  Head home and feed them more.

1600-1800: The lost part of my day.  Every day.  It's like a black hole. Nick gets home with Ava at about quarter after four, I'm still feeding the rest of the kids at the breakfast bar.  They eat so much!! They're not allowed on the computer or kindles until after dinner, so the boys head upstairs to play lego and the alternate between painting, changing her clothes ten times, and crying (Daisy) and bossing everyone around (Ava).

I chat with Nick, have a cup of tea to try to perk up, and play on the computer.  I can't even remember what I was looking at, but it wasn't productive.  Nothing I do during the afternoons is productive!! It's so weird.  We're having stuffed shells for dinner, which is Ava's favorite, so I start browning the meat and getting everything together so she can cook for us. We loosely follow this super simple recipe, if you're looking for inspiration.  It is Ava's FAVORITE food.

1800-1845: Nick does baths while I clean the kitchen and get the dishwasher started.  I actually enjoy this part- I have my trusty Killers Mumford Lumineers playlist that I can blast as loudly as I want bc everyone else is upstairs.  Sweep the kitchen for the last time of the day!!! The kids are supposed to tidy up their bedrooms and the playroom right now too, but we're all exhausted and no one wants to fuss about it, so we pretend the mess is invisible and pile onto the couch for kindles and computers and Inspector Gadget.

1930: Fight to get Scott to read to us, he refuses, so Warren reads me the longest Biff and Chip and Kipper book he's ever had.  Groan. I know reading is important but I cannot STAND these books!!! I swear to God, it takes nine hours to get thru it.  Kisses and bed!!!! I wash my face (bc I won't do it if I wait till I go to bed- that's how lazy I am!!!) and change into jammies then head downstairs.

2000-2115: Nick makes tea and we get settled on the couch.  We watch Breaking Bad and an episode of Frasier while I fold the fourth (and final!!!) load of clothes for the day and then work on my sock.  He plays on his phone during Frasier, but man I love that show.  I laugh out loud the entire way thru, as always.  It was the one where it's New Year's Eve for 2000 and Frasier and Niles and Martin all take the Winnebago to try to make it to CA.  Hilarity ensues.

2115: That's it!! We both countdown the minutes, we somehow decided that nine fifteen is an okay time to go to bed, but nine or even nine ten is too early and would make us losers.  So we wait till nine fifteen and practically race to the bed. I sneak into the kids' rooms to put away all the laundry.  Gag me.  Nick is asleep almost immediately (he gets up at like 0400 or some bullshit to work out for reals) but I read with my trusty head torch for a while, then give IG and pinterest one last lookyloo before I start playing free cell on my phone.  It's like Pavlov's dogs, a few hands in and I'm dropping my phone on my face falling asleep.  I can't remember the last time I was awake past ten after ten.

0455: Seriously, is that my alarm? God, I'm so glad I don't have babies waking me up all night.  But seriously, it's too early.  SNOOZE bitch.

Thoughts: Wish I'd taken more pics, but it is what it is.  All in all, my life is pretty rad.  I really like that I've got playlists for each part of my day.  Normal people probably wouldn't like the repetitiveness, but I like knowing that when I hear Fancy, I'm most likely making Daisy lunch.  I really do hate laundry.  I never want to leave England.  I need to figure out what's going on from four to six.  I need more hobbies or friends or something, surely it's not good to watch this much tv in a day.  Man though, I sure do love tv.  Glad I did this.

Friday, July 10, 2015

2015 in Scrapbook Pages (Vol 3)

I haven't exactly fallen behind on my's more that I haven't really taken any pictures lately.

At all.


I really want to use my big camera, but I never do, and then I sort of feel bad, so I don't take out my phone either.  That's dumb, I should stop.  After all, starting September twenty first, I'll be childless for six hours a day and won't even have the opportunity to take any pics.

Not that I'm counting down the days or anything.  Of course not!!

This first one is a hodgepodge of leftovers on my phone.  A sunny day that must still have been cold (or maybe not, Warren wears that coat pretty much nonstop because...werido), the chicks that I was obsessed with in Daisy's class, and the Easter bonnet parade.  Oh Junebug.  #craftybitch She really went all out with the stickers and stuff.

Then, right before Megan left, we went to the Princess Diana park for a few hours, and even though I stamped it as i want to remember this I sort of want to forget because I miss her.  And her kids. But I guess in the long run, I'll be one of those better to have loved and lost than never loved at all people.

Fingers crossed.

I only took like seventy pictures the entire time my parents were here!!! How is that even possible?!?!

We did the usual, wander around the city, play at the Lido, sneak away from school to go to Peppa Pig World... I really don't know why I didn't take more pictures.  Sorry Gramma.

I'm going to redo this camping page because apparently we're going to go camping...a lot.  But I'd already made it before I realized that, so you're stuck with it.  Just imagine LOTS more pics of dirty kids and Nick's land rover.

And the last page I worked on is maybe my favorite, mostly because it's got that pic of Nick and Daisy in the early morning.  One of the perks of the sun rising at 0450- great light in my room ;)

We're off to a pretty rad summer, don't you think? Inflatable pool (that has since died...) watermelon, milkshake dates, fun in the hose...what more could a kid as for? Oh, don't forget the geese crossing the busiest rode in the neighborhood- EVERYONE STOPPED TO LET THEM PASS.  Faith in humanity: restored.

Sources for my supplies: background papers here, stamped alphas here, pocket sentiments here (that's the 'our life' card, I added the 'rad'), daily life stamps here (those are the 'good stuff' and 'today rocks' and all those that I put on almost every single picture- they're VERY addicting) and my journalling fonts are Project Storyteller (it came with cursive and print) by Darcy Baldwin, but I cannot for the life of me find out where you can get them now.  I got them at Sweet Shoppe Designs a few years ago, but now they don't seem to have fonts? I haven't shopped there in a while.  Darcy Baldwin has her own website, but I couldn't find it on there either.   I got the page templates from this etsy shop and they're FAB, very professional and lined up perfectly, so it's easy to adjust to my pics. I use PSE 13 to lay everything out, and I'm hoping to order this year's book from Adoramapix because they're the BEST, but you've apparently got to keep it under 75 pages, so we shall see.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book Reports: Red Rising and Golden Son

I loved both of these books equally.  I got a tiny bit bogged down in the second book because there are a LOT of characters and a LOT of battle scenes, but seriously, they're both SO GOOD.  I guess it's pretty rare that the second is as good as the first- Insurgent and Catching Fire come to mind, along with the second Silo Book, so maybe it's not that rare?

Regardless, Brown nailed it.

Anyway, let's start with the first one.  From the back of the book: "The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity's last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it's all a lie. That Mars has been habitable - and inhabited - for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield - and Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda."

I heard about it on EW (naturally) and rereading his review after reading the book, he hit all the points.  Guess that's why he gave it an A-? Their reviews are pretty spot on for me, for the most part. Here's just a paraphrase of some of the things he had to say:  Sure, Brown has culled familiar elements — dystopian rituals, personality-based stratification, rebellious unrest, and plenty of flashy tech — but he’s woven the worn threads into a wholly fresh revenge tale that will send your imagination into hyperdrive....Darrow, edgy but immensely likable, is an easy guy to root for...Brown’s best move is eschewing some of the more tired tropes of dystopian YA (read: no horrific love triangle), instead creating disarmingly real friendships and high-stakes rivalries...

Sounds amazing, right? Here's what I had to say right after I finished the last page: Oh man. This book was GOOD. Like stay up till four and read the entire thing in one go good. I got a little confused bc there's a LOT of characters, and I have a thing about not using contractions, but other than that, five stars. I literally can't sleep bc I'm too excited to get the next one.

What it boils down to (for me) was that it was realistic (as realistic as this sort of life on mars sci fi super human bullshit type story can be...) and Darrow was EXTREMELY likeable.  He wasn't an idiot, he wasn't a blind idealist, he wasn't unrealistic in his strive to do the right thing, if that makes sense.  Like, wanting to change the world just to make it better? I have a hard time swallowing that type of character, they never ring true for me.

I think this passage sums up Darrow and the backbone of the story for me, and it's not much of a spoiler, his wife's death is like the main plot point:

He wants his wife back.  He misses her, he thinks it's unfair.  He goes into the whole rebellion thing because he thought she would like it, and that's all well and good, go humanity, go revolution, but when it comes down to it, he wants his wife back.  And that's never gonna happen.


I was lucky (??) that by the time I got the first one, it was almost time for Golden Son, so I didn't have to wait very long.  From the back of the bookGolden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

The same dude wrote the EW review for this one, but I'll spare you the paraphrase, go read it if you want, it's fab.  He liked this one better, it got a full A instead of the A- and here's what I said right after I was finished: Man, what a follow up. SO GOOD. I got bogged down bc there's a LOT of battles and space crap, but as a whole, this was absolutely amazing. And I especially love how it's taking YEARS. Most books about these sorts of rebellions happen quickly, and while I don't actually know anything about rebellions, I feel like they'd probably take years. Man this book was good. Highly recommend it. I'm only docking a star bc seriously, so much battle.

I don't agree that it was BETTER, necessarily, but it was AS GOOD, and it was a much different type of story.

It starts off with a bang and doesn't slow down the entire time, this passage is near the beginning, and you know how I love it when authors hit the nail on the head about the horrors of humanity.

Lemme say it again to really drive it home.  Darrow says to himself amazing the power you have when you're bloody up to the sleeves and none of it is your own. Shiver.

And then, of course, the horrors of war itself.

The character doesn't exist anymore... I thought I knew horror.  I didn't.  More men died in the last minute THAN I'VE EVER EVEN KNOWN... This is war.  Chaos. Chance.  Death. 


My favorite thing about these books, though, is that they're taking place over YEARS.  I feel like revolutions WOULD take years, you know? It wouldn't happen overnight.  But actually, I don't really know anything about that sort of thing, so who knows. I also love that he makes sure to get the point across that chance plays a huge part in life.  He doesn't just let all the favorite characters live and the bad guys die- it's chance who gets hit and who doesn't.  And that just rings true to me too.

Anyway.  Both of these are Drop Everything And Read type books, but you really have to read the first one first.  Then hit me up so we can talk about it.  Be sure to finish them both first though bc as Angela can tell you, I'm a total asshole and spoil huge plotpoints sometimes.  Ugh.  Sorry Angela!!!

Ya'll reading anything good lately?

Linking up with Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop with prompt #3- book report.  Obvs.