Sunday, April 28, 2013

5 Books Every Woman Should Read

OK, you guys.. this was so super hard for me! I love reading all kinds of different books, but to pick ones that every woman should read.. that was really difficult.  So.. I came up with 4. Don't sue me. haha. 

1)  The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I like this book for the simple fact that it reminds you to be happy.  And to find ways to make you happy.  Because let's be honest, in the daily grind of our lives, it's easy to let stress and exhaustion and being busy get the best of you.  Sure, we can eat right or exercise, but our souls need a little nourishment, too.  So reading about the different ways that Gretchen Rubin tried to be happy - with her job, her marriage, being a mom, etc, - really spoke to me. I'd definitely like to embark on my own happiness project... when I can find the time. :)

2) ANY book by Nicholas Sparks

I think every woman should read a book (or all of them!) by Nicholas Sparks.  Because sometimes it's nice to be in a world where there are these epic, life-changing, all-consuming love stories.  Where the guy will overcome any and all odds to be with his woman.  Where good almost always prevails against evil.  And sometimes you also need a good cry and Sparks is good for those, too. :)  Nights in Rodanthe and A Walk to Remember are my two favorites... read them! 

3)  Ten Degrees of Reckoning, by Hester Rumberg

This book shook me to my core.  I was devastated.  Here's a synopsis:
In 1993, Judith and Michael Sleavin and their two children set out to live their dream: to sail around the world. But one night, a freighter off the coast of New Zealand altered its course by a mere ten degrees. And changed everything. After surviving forty-four hours in the water, with a back broken in several places and paralyzed below the waist, Judith miraculously survived. Doctors would later say she suffered one of the worst cases of post-traumatic stress syndrome ever documented. News of the collision made headlines around the world, but, distraught, Judith never talked to the press. Her body was broken, and so was her soul.

Twelve years later, Judith turned to her best friend, Hester Rumberg, and asked her to write what was too painful for her to write. The result is a gripping, unbelievable yet true story of one family's love, of profound loss, and of a remarkable woman who decided to live when others might have decided otherwise. But always it is a stunning account of survival, a meditation on the strength of friendship and community. It is a universal tale of how any of our lives might be unexpectedly altered, how we might have to change what we hope for, and how we can move forward in times of tragedy.

I promise it will have you gripped to the seat of your chair.  You'll feel despair... but overall, a sense of profound love after reading this book. It still haunts me. 

4)  The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman

This book is a must-read for anybody in a relationship.  

So, what books do YOU think every woman should read? 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Average Isn't Good Enough

Something has really been bugging me lately.  So of course, my answer is to blog about it and rant to all of you.  You're welcome. 

But has anybody else noticed how we as a society seem to celebrate mediocrity?  I mean, really... whatever happened to giving 110%?  Whatever happened to trying your best, giving your all, and really caring about what you want to accomplish?? 

Nowadays, it's RARE to get good customer service anywhere. Well, at least they didn't spit in your food.  It's RARE to find people who are good at their job and truly care about it. Well, at least they didn't screw up my reservations today.  It's RARE to see parents truly being supportive and active in their kids' lives. Well, at least they're not drug addicts, what more do you want? 

But that's just IT... I want MORE.  Average isn't good enough.  Giving people trophies whether they won or lost the match... what message does that send?  Oh well, I don't have to practice or give my all or heck, even try, since I know I'm going to get the same reward if I win or lose. 

It's sad.  It really is.  

Don't be mediocre.  Nobody is good at everything, but everybody is good at something. 

I've teamed up with my girl Lindsay from Pursuit of Pink and some other lovely ladies to bring you this awesome giveaway. Enter now for gift cards (Target, Amazon, etc), ad space, jewelry and MORE! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, April 21, 2013

What's Your Top 3?

Since I'm such a huge book nerd, I signed up for the Preview to Summer Blogger Book Swap. And I'm super excited to share with you all my top 3 favorite books!  

Narrowing it down to only 3 is really hard because I love a lot of different books for different reasons.  And my top 3 generally changes depending on what kind of mood I'm in.  But, here's my list: 

Stephen King is one of my all-time favorite authors.  Most people like to think that his books are all horror and gore, but those people haven't actually read his books, I've found, or else they would know that that's not really the case.  11/22/63 is a mystery, a love story, with a little paranormal twist of time travel thrown in.  It's a pretty long book, coming in at 849 pages, but I never wanted it to end! 

If you're a lover of historical fiction, like I am, then this book will really resonate with you.  Margaret George really makes these historical figures come to life and you are really rooting for Mary, Queen of Scots... even though we all know her fate.

I love this book.  I love how Pip makes a life for himself, but also never really leaves his past behind.  Just like the rest of us, he can't escape who he really is. One of my all-time favorite books and I love every single movie adaptation out there. 

So tell me, what's your top 3? 

Don't forget to check out these awesome giveaways:
-$75 Target gift card, click here
-31 prizes: gift cards, shop credits, ad space, etc, click here


Did Somebody Say the T Word??

Well hey there, peoples! Have you missed me?  I know, I haven't been around much.  But I have seriously missed YOU!  And I hope you'll stay tuned, I have a few things coming up that I hope will grab your attention. 

But of course, before we get to that, I've teamed up with Kimberly from A Night Owl blog (again!) and some other lovely ladies to bring you this awesome giveaway for a $75 gift card to TARGET! Woohoo, are you excited yet? I wish I could enter!!!! You can enter below... good luck! 

Open in the USA and Canada.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on Sunday, April 28th, 2013.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents ages 18 and over and ends at 11:59pm EST on April 28th, 2013. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. Number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Approximate retail value is $75.00. One winner will be selected. This is a giveaway sponsored as a group buy, which means the bloggers pooled their money together to purchase this product for you. All liabilities and responsibilities with product is directly responsible by Target. Winner will drawn by from all verified entries, contacted by email provided, and announced on this page at the end of the contest. 
Winner has 48 hours to respond or prize will be redrawn. Entrant is responsible for the email address they provide, whether through typing it directly or through the Facebook entry method. A Night Owl is not responsible for lost or misdirected emails. All prizes will be awarded. No prize substitutions allowed. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook and we hereby release Facebook of any liability. Information is provided to A Night Owl, not to Facebook and your information is never sold or shared. Facebook and Target are not a sponsor of this giveaway. Prize is mailed or emailed directly by Kimberly Sneed of A Night Owl and requires confirmation of delivery. Protected tweets do not count as an entry method for tweeting. Tweets must come from a public account. Bloggers in this group giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Clean Up on Aisle 12

We generally go grocery shopping once every week.  With two growing boys, a hubby with a bottomless pit for a stomach, and a giant dog who eats like a horse, we HAVE to go grocery shopping every week.  We usually don't leave the store without spending $250+ each trip. Blah.  So I always try to have my coupons and list handy so that we only buy what we need and save as much money as we can. 
But every once in a while, when I'm by myself, I like to wander up and down each aisle... just to see if we need anything.  And the answer is usually always yes, haha. Hubs hates when I want to do this because he'd much rather that our bank account not take such a hit. :) 
Seriously, though... sometimes going grocery shopping by yourself can be a mini-vacation for us moms, am I right?  Nobody throwing a tantrum, or trying to touch everything, or wanting everything that catches their eye.  Just complete and utter silence. :) 
Anybody else like grocery shopping alone?  What's your mini-vacation like?   
P.S. My fellow book nerds, check out this awesome book swap! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

Or morning would probably be more accurate.  What is with this weather, Virginia?! Freezing temps, then 90 degree weather and then thunderstorms with torrential downpours. Color me confused.  

But the best part of rainy mornings is laying in bed, listening to the rain fall outside.  It somehow makes you appreciate your nice warm bed that much more than you normally do.  It sometimes makes me a little melancholy, too.  

But then again, I am the girl who is always drawn to sad music, sad books, sad movies.  I don't know why. It's almost like if I didn't feel anything very intensely, then it must not have been good.  Which I know isn't true, because I love funny movies and books, etc.  But somehow it's always the sad ones that stay with me. Maybe because they seem more realistic and messy, like real life. 

I'm always drawn to the yearning, the sadness, the heartbreak.  And no, it's not because it has anything to do with my life - I'm happily married, have 2 beautiful kids, I don't have anything to be unhappy about.  But happy stories are usually pretty boring to me. haha.

Take Alanis Morissette, for example.  Her Jagged Little Pill album - epicly amazing. Angry, depressed, heartbroken lyrics.  Still one of my favorite albums of all time.  Any of her albums after that... yea, couldn't even tell you the name of it or any of the songs.  Because Happy Alanis is Boring Alanis.  Am I right? 

Tell me I'm not the only dark and stormy girl out there... 


Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Book Chat - Children's Books

Hi everybody!  I'm so excited to be co-hosting The Book Chat with Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine this week!  Sorry for the delay folks, I was off having an awesome time at the Maroon 5 concert yesterday. :)
Anyway, this week's topic is Children's Books.  I love this topic, not only because it reminds me of the books I loved as a kid, but also now that I have kids, I get to enjoy kids' books with them as well.
So, we'll start with my favorite growing up.

I could read Charlotte's Web over and over and over again.  I absolutely loved it.  The animals, the words that Charlotte would weave in her webs (yes, I'm a word nerd), all of it.  I would watch the movie over and over again as well.  To this day, I still want to have a pet pig. Haha.

My sons are 4 and 2, so the books that they love are obviously geared toward younger kids, but are still fun nevertheless. :)

They both love this book.  Of course they always want a cookie after I read it, too. ;)  It's a cute book and kind of teaches them to think logically, sort of.  Like, after you eat a cookie, you're obviously going to need a glass of milk. haha.

And this Dr. Seuss book is their fave.  They always giggle at the nonsensical words and Dom, my 4yo, loves counting the various crazy objects on the pages. :)

So, now it's your turn.  Tell us what your favorite (or your kids' favorite) children's books are!  Grab the button below and link up with us. :)

 To join in...

1. Please follow the host and co-host.

2. Visit a few other book chat links and show some support.

3. Link back here in your post. Or use the button provided.

4. Old posts are always welcome if you have blogged on the topic before.

Link up your posts below.  I can't wait to read your posts! :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Today is the Day!!!

I'm going to the MAROON 5 concert today!!! Woop woop.  So enjoy that news and then go visit me over at my girl Lindsay's blog, Pursuit of Pink. :) You can read a little more about me and check out Lindsay's awesome blog at the same time. :)  Read the post here.
Annddddd don't forget to check back tomorrow for The Book Chat with Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine! I'm co-hosting this week, woohoo!  This week's topic is: Children's Books. :) Super exciting, hope you guys come back tomorrow for that.
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tickle Me Pink Tuesday

Well, would ya look at that?? It's Tuesday, people!  Do you know what that means?  Time for me to be tickled.  Nope, it never gets old, in case you were wondering.  #creeperstatusforlife #yesilikehashtags #sosueme

Let's see now.  What delectable delights do I have in store for you today?  Yes, I know delectable doesn't quite fit the context, but I like alliteration. 

1)  Wait, wait, wait... Do I have a what??!!  All I want is a drink.  Disclaimer - I'm half Asian, so I'm allowed to make fun of Asian people... but only half of the time. 

2)  Like I mentioned last week... Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon can do no wrong.  Ever.  

3)  This cracks me up because I think this in my head every day.  It's kind of exhausting being so cheerful.  But I think if I was the REAL me 24/7... people would kind of hate me. :)

4)  I freaking love this kid.  2 years old and already a crafty little booger. 

5)  "You want to play with my bath toys?! Ain't Nobody Got Time For THAT!!!" 

William, my own little crafty booger. :) 

What's tickled you pink lately?? 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Weekends Are Too Short... I will leave you with some pictures of my cutie patootie boys because I'm too tired to write anything.  Enjoy! :)

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a lovely Easter. xo