July Books 2011

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Another busy month for getting a lot of reading done. I always seem to read a lot more in the summer months, perhaps it has something to do with the longer days? This month I have read:-

No Room For Secrets by Joanna Lumley: her memoir where she takes the reader into her home and visits each room, one by one. It sounds like an interesting concept but becomes quite tedious as the book progresses. I expected so much more from this fascinating woman who I have long admired and was left feeling disappointed. The Road by Cormac McCarthy: is a bleak and depressing take on a burnt out post-apocalyptic America, I loved it. Thin by Grace Bowman: is the author's memoir of growing up with anorexia. It's insightful and emotional but the changes of first and third person were a little annoying.

Marley and Me by John Grogan: cute and heart-warming memoir which recounts a couple's life with a naughty dog. Keep The Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell: I found this quite a tough book to get through because the protaganist/antihero Gordon Comstock is simply one of the most miserable characters I have ever encountered. Stick with it though, it is quietly brilliant in its own way. Gerald's Game by Stephen King: good psychological horror about a woman who is handcuffed to a bed for a large portion of the whole book. Brings up all of those 'what would you do?' sorts of questions.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk: pretty close to the film, definitely read it if you've watched the movie a million times like I have. The Story of Babalou Roy by Amelia Fergusson: I won this via a Goodreads giveaway and it's amazing. A collection of eight short stories which showcase some of the worst sides of human life and the sad parts too. The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark: a really weird novella, seriously it's odd. Read it for 1001 Books You Should Read before you Die book club.

Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris: I was expecting a satire on the mundane lives of office workers but this was pretty boring. It has some good parts in it but the first third of it really dragged. Prep by Curtis Sittenfield: great coming of age story set in a boarding school, enjoyed this a lot and the author did a fantastic job of getting into the head of a teenage girl. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P Lovecraft: collection of short stories that span a variety of genres including horror, paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy.

All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland: wanted to like this but just found it annoying. A silly cartoonish caricature of a dysfunctional American family that was trying way too hard to be cool. Poems on the Underground by Gerard Benson: a good mix of old and new poems, one of those books which would be nice to dip in and out of or give as a gift. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: I'm not the biggest Austen fan but I did enjoy this. It was much better reading it from the perspective of an adult than it was when I was forced to read it at school.

Add me on Goodreads for more reviews and books :)

NOTD: Barry M - Cyan Blue

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If I could only wear one nail colour for the whole summer, it would probably be this Cyan Blue, which stands out a treat from all of the corals and hot pinks about at the moment.

Random Wednesday {posted on Thursday}.

{Don't ya wish your eyelashes were as long hers?  I sure do.}
* I'm writing a letter to Sonic.  I think they need to have a happy hour that goes from like 9-11 in the MORNING.  That's when us moms get our kids off to school.  Isn't that reason to be 'happy' enough?  Kidding aside...it's when we start our errands.  We {and I mean ME} need a little pick me up to get us going in the AM, right?

* How is it that there are people who order at Subway and CAN'T DECIDE what toppings to get on their sandwich?  I'm pretty sure Subway hasn't changed the toppings that they offer in the last 20 years.  And I'm pretty sure everyone has been to Subway a handful of times in the last 20 years.  So why does it take some people FOREVER to order there?  And why, oh why, do I ALWAYS get stuck behind them in line???

* I just discovered Redbox.  It's true....I tend to be a {tad} behind on stuff like this {I honestly just downloaded my very first song EVER to itunes like a month ago}.  I am in love with it.  How have I missed out on the RB for so long now?  And now...they have wii games.  For $2.  For my kids of course.  {Ok...maybe...just maybe... the Michael Jackson Dance Experiment game was partially for me.}

* The other night I was flipping through the TV channels in bed and noticed that Nick at Nite now shows "Married with Children".  Thats right.  On NICKELODEON.  Is that just a tad weird to anyone else? Seriously...Married with Children.....on Nickelodeon.  Doesn't that go against everything a 'kids network' is about?  I still watched it.

* Does anyone else get up at the SAME time EVERY night to go to the bathroom?  It's weird how it's so exact, every night.  I once had a DR tell me to just 'train' myself to go back to sleep. And ignore the fact that I had to go.  SERIOUSLY???  Who on earth can do that? If I really didn't have to go tinkle...I wouldn't be waking up from the get go, right?

* I have a pet peeve when it comes to shopping stores.  It's when they change their floor plan up on me.  Why do they find it necessary to rearrange everything?  I used to think it was funny when I'd take my Grandpa Misel grocery shopping and he'd say that we had to go to the SAME store EVERY time because he knew where everything was.  I now GET IT.  I'm the SAME way. 

* Speaking of 'elderly'.... Joe and I really should be 'old' people. We like to go out on Fri and Sat nights at like 4:30.  To beat the crowd of course.

* Carson went his entire first day of Kindergarten this week WITHOUT wearing any undies.  And it didn't even phase him.  He prefers it actually.  YIKES! Thinking I need to start buying him boxer briefs now.  Maybe he'd feel a little less confined?

* Have you seen the show "Tough Cookie" on the Food Network?  It's my new fave.

Cinnamon Bites.


Breakfast is pretty much my favorite meal of the day.  {I especially LOVE to eat breakfast OUT. So many yummy things to choose from.}  When I saw this recipe from Oh My Sugar High my mouth started to water.  I'll be trying these out this weekend.  They look DI-VINE!  Click HERE for the recipe.

Strawberry Shortcake party.

London was invited to a Strawberry Shortcake Tea Party today.  It was pretty much the cutest party I have ever been to.  Which is not surprising, because my friend Kapri was in charge.  Her little girl Scarlett was turning THREE.  To say that Kapri goes ALL OUT...well... is an understatement.  Don't believe me?  See below.





For starters...the guest of honor handed out these adorable invitations.  




Which she had on display, surrounded with all things STRAWBERRY.  Strawberry marshmallows, chocolate filled strawberries and strawberry candies.








Strawberry cake pops were served {yes...the cake pops were strawberry cake flavored!}....




as were strawberry and kiwi kabobs....



....and other fresh fruit. {Dont'cha just LOVE the Strawberry Shortcake accents?}





The party was in no shortage of darling pink cupcakes with handmade cupcake toppers...


...which London ESPECIALLY appreciated.


There were darling strawberry water bottles for the adults....




...and the table set-up was pretty much the cutest thing ever.



I took this picture for 2 reasons.  #1....to showcase the cute poms Kapri MADE, which were hanging all over her house..  And #2...to show the cute way that Kapri hung ALL of the kids' handmade aprons.   Yes...that's right....HANDMADE APRONS.  FOR EACH KID!!!




And as if that weren't ENOUGH.....there were cute little goody bags filled with strawberry flavored candy.




London...had.....A.....BLAST!!!!  Can you tell?


First Day Adventures.

 This cute boy....


And this cute boy.....


Started school yesterday.  They got NEW backpacks...


And NEW lunch boxes......


And they were happy as could BE.


Grant was excited for his new 1st grade teacher....



Carson was excited to sit at a big long table and mingle with his 'peeps'.....


 And as if you can't tell by Carson's face.....they had a SPECTACULAR first day!

Now...it's just me and her..... 



And by the looks of it....she's plotting something for our next shopping adventure!

Back to School tradition.

My sister has started quite a festive Back to School tradition with her kids.  It's something I plan to copy next year.  And lucky for YOU...I'm sharing the details.  Because WHAT kid wouldn't LOVE a little extra sumthin' on their first day of school?

She starts out by having a BIG breakfast.  All the works.  She decorates the table and has individual place settings for each of them.



She found scrapbook paper and wrote them each a personalized note as part of their 'place mat'.





LOVING the apple with the pencil!  She cut out circles and put an initial sticker on each one representing each of her kids.


She tells her kids how she wants them to EACH meet one new friend a day.  And to bribe them {hey, a little extra incentive never hurts, right?} she tells them that for EACH new person they can tell her about after school, she'll give them a quarter.


Lastly,  she gives each of the kids a bottle of hand sanitizer to take into their teacher.  She removes the label {goo be gone} and fancies it up a little with their teacher's initial.  Cute, huh?

You can find my sister's blog HERE.

love you long time

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You've gotta love eBay, these days you can buy anything on there (even human children are listed sometimes!). It's not often that I care much when a product is discontinued but when Avon stopped releasing this pot of skin softening goodness, I was sad.

Luckily, I picked one up via eBay for the bargain price of £2 and it arrived this morning. Happy days. It may look like something the dog did in the garden, but trust me, it smells heavenly and works so well.

Lush Haul & reviews

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I bought a couple of bits from Lush recently with the last of the vouchers I received for my birthday, back in June. It's save to say that I now have enough Lush products to last me until Christmas!

Here's what I picked up:-

Fair Trade Foot Lotion
- I've repurchased this so many times. It's a lovely spearminty lotion that makes my feet nice and soft. I use it almost daily and this big pot will last me a good couple of months.

New shampoo bar - I've tried this out twice and my hair hates it. Too drying for me so I'm going to swap/sell it on I think.

Tea Tree Toner - Bought the small size to try it out. I wish I had gotten the bigger size up now because it's so good! I find that the best way to use this is by spraying it all over your face, leaving it on for a moment and then removing the excess with a cotton wool pad. Lovely and refreshing and seems to be helping to calm my combination/oily skin.

Creme Anglaise hand & body lotion - They had these next to the till for £1 so I decided to try it out. Smells great, absorbs into the skin quickly with no greasiness, really like it. May invest in a big pot when I'm feeling a bit more flush and have used up the other 10000 body lotions in my room.

American Cream conditioner - This is one of their 'double strength' hair conditioners so I thought I'd give it a go. Oh. My. God. This smells amazing! It's a nicely balanced (not too overpowering, yet not too weak either) sweet vanilla scent that lingers in your hair for hours afterwards. It conditions really well, no heavy product feeling at all and left my hair shiny and soft. Will definitely be repurchasing in the bigger size.

7-UP Back to School goodie.


The kids around here start school tomorrow and I wanted to do something cute for each of the girls that I am in charge of at church.  I wanted some way to say "Good Luck" with the new school year! With the help of my cute friend Liz, I came  up with these 7-UP bottles.



7-UP-lifting Ways to Start your First Week of School.




I had fun making them and even MORE fun delivering them to each of their houses tonight!  
Happy School Year Girlies!!!

Linking up to Craft-o-Maniac.
Linking up to Somewhat Simple.

YW Theme Candy Bars.


I got to teach my cute Young Women today.  As a little added sumthin' {I honestly can't teach a lesson and NOT hand out treats...} I printed out the mutual theme for 2011 which just happens to be the 13th Article of Faith. I found the cute candy bar wrappers from sugardoodle HERE.  Bought some Crunch bars {perfect size} and wa-lah! 



Oh.  And in case you're wondering...what in the heck is an Article of Faith?  Click HERE.

Ciate lipgloss & Marie Claire

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Free with this month's Marie Claire is a Ciate lipgloss in two different shades, a nude and a fuschia pink. Typically as a lover of all things neutral, I picked up the nude one which is called 'St Barts'. Smells very sweet, application and texture is quite thick, but it's a bit too sticky for my liking. Colour and finish wise, it's super, super glossy and rather sheer, you have to put on a lot for it to show up nude.

Ciate are a young brand who seem quite desperate to be high-end in mid-high priced cosmetics. Their main selling point are their cutesy bow tied nail polishes (fans of Glossy Box and past magazine freebies will have one lurking about in their collections somewhere), and whilst their polishes come in a great range of colours, I'm not one to be duped for paying £9 for a nicely packaged nail polish. Likewise, their lipglosses are also priced at £9 which seems ludicrous for such a sub-standard product.

I don't know, I'm not convinced by them just yet. I might pick up one of the nail polishes they're giving away with next month's Marie Claire and see if their formulas have improved.

A {berry} sweet idea.


Loving this cute idea from Brown Paper Packages via the cute blog Oopsey Daisy.  Just LOOKING at these jars o' jam makes me  happy.  You know what ELSE makes me happy?  The fact that they've provided us with FREE printables for the cute BERRY tags.  There are FIVE and they are all super cute!  Click HERE to see for yourself!  

Does anyone wanna teach me how to make jam? Mmmmmm.

10 Films list


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1. Biutiful (2011) - Slow paced but incredibly watchable Spanish film set in crime-ridden Barcelona.
2. The Mechanic (2011) - Jason Statham action thriller, says it all really.
3. Threads (1984) - Nuclear disaster documentary style, courtesy of the BBC. Scary!
4. Marley and Me (2009) - Cutsey chick flick with a labrador.
5. The Killer Inside Me (2010) - That controversial film that has a handful of explicitly violent scenes in it, not the kind of thing you'd want to watch twice.
6. Slyvia (2004) - Based on the troubled life of Slyvia Plath and her husband Ted Hughes.
7. Funny Games (2007) - If you don't already have anxiety, you'll probably develop it after watching this, but it makes addictive viewing.
8. Vamp (1986) - Grace Jones as a scary painted stripper vampire anyone?
9. The Fountain (2006) - Love this film so much, it's absolutely beautifully shot by Darren Aronofsky with a musical score by Clint Mansell. AND Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz are in it, just perfect.
10. Pandorum (2010) - So-so space dystopia/sci-fi flick.