Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Read All About It: Helen of Troy by Margaret George

Helen of Troy; Margaret George, historical fiction

I am a huge fan of Margaret George. Her historical fiction books are amazing. I've previously read the ones she wrote about Cleopatra, Mary Queen of Scots, Henry the VIII, and Mary Magdalene and I wholeheartedly give them 5 stars. So I was super excited to read "Helen of Troy" by George recently. 

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads: 

"A lush, seductive novel of the legendary beauty whose face launched a thousand ships
Daughter of a god, wife of a king, prize of antiquity's bloodiest war, Helen of Troy has inspired artists for millennia. Now, Margaret George, the highly acclaimed bestselling historical novelist, has turned her intelligent, perceptive eye to the myth that is Helen of Troy.
Margaret George breathes new life into the great Homeric tale by having Helen narrate her own story. Through her eyes and in her voice, we experience the young Helen's discovery of her divine origin and her terrifying beauty. While hardly more than a girl, Helen married the remote Spartan king Menelaus and bore him a daughter. By the age of twenty, the world's most beautiful woman was resigned to a passionless marriage until she encountered the handsome Trojan prince Paris. And once the lovers flee to Troy, war, murder, and tragedy become inevitable.
In Helen of Troy, Margaret George has captured a timeless legend in a mesmerizing tale of a woman whose life was destined to create strife and destroy civilizations."

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): It was decent. 3 out of 5 stars. 

In my opinion, this book is not as good as the other ones that I have read, but it was still decent. 

What I liked about the book:

I love the imagery that Margaret George uses when describing Troy, Greece, etc. You really feel like you are there. I also liked how Helen was portrayed as far as her struggle with her looks and her relationships with other people. She was always waiting for someone to see the real her, behind her beauty. 

I also admire Margaret George for writing the book at all because, unlike her other books, this one was about a mythological person, and there's no proof that she ever really existed. I mean, think about it - for other historical fiction books, you would assume an author can rely on historical documents, journals, letters, etc. But for someone who is a part of Greek mythology, well, I'm sure that proved difficult. 

What I didn't like about the book:

I didn't like how Helen treated her daughter. Her love story with Paris is all romantic and everything, but it was almost like her daughter was an afterthought. Being fulfilled by love is amazing, don't get me wrong, but as a mom, it really ticked me off. 

The book was also pretty long. I felt like the story took forever to get to the point. 

Favorite Quotes:

  • "To insult someone is an easy task. To rise above the insult, not so easy. We remember it far longer than we remember praise. That is just the way we are made."
  • "We like to imagine that only those who do not know us would wish us ill... An enemy disguised as a friend is the deadliest of all."
  • "And so we seek for that one person who can love us as we all long to be loved." 

What have you read lately? 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy Birthday My Little Jedi

Star Wars birthday party; Jedi; Yoda; Darth Vader

Dom is six years old now. SIX! Time is moving much too fast for my liking. He is such a big boy now. And he is obsessed with Star Wars (though he has not seen any of the movies, only the cartoons that are on Netflix... go figure), so I thought it only fitting to throw him a Star Wars 6th birthday party Saturday. 

It all started with Pinterest where I found the idea for this awesome invitation: 

Star Wars birthday party invitation; may the force be with you

And I got them printed from VistaPrint and was super happy with the results. But that's pretty much where the Pin-spiration stopped. I had the best of intentions to make cute little signs/banners and have fun party games and favors, but man, it's been a rough month. Rough with a capital R. My mommy guilt, which is always kind of high, kicked in to overdrive. Amazon became my best friend where I ordered a few Star Wars-related items for the party. 

But Dom really had a great time at his party. He still hasn't stopped talking about it. So maybe that's a good reminder for me that sometimes simpler is better. That it's ME setting these impossibly high expectations - and my son is happy as long as he is spending time with friends and family. 

Look at that smile. Melts my heart. Happy Birthday, my little Jedi. I am so blessed to be your mama. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Changes: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I've been feeling a little heavy lately. And so I thought a change was in order. In my highly structured world, I don't have a lot of room to change many things. But there are a few things that I can. Like my hair. 

Here's me before:

My hair is curly and thick and has the mass of a thousand dying stars. OK, maybe a slight exaggeration. But it was totally killin' me, Smalls. So I went to this super chic and trendy boutique hair salon (*cough*Hair Cuttery*cough) and told the stylist: "Just chop it off. I'm so done with it." And of course, like any good stylist, she kept asking me if I was sure, and I kept saying yes.

And after she was done, it was the second shortest length I've ever had my hair. (Let's not talk about the Prince-circa-Purple-Rain hairdo when I was in 3rd grade.) 

Here's me after (I straightened my hair, so it's a bit longer here than when it's au naturel):

And I love it. I feel lighter. I use less shampoo. It dries faster. On rainy days, I may or may not resemble a wet poodle. But I'm OK with that. And here's hoping that the heaviness finally gets a little lighter. 

Have you made any positive changes lately? 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thoughtful Thursdays: Empty

Choose to Die Empty; inspiration quotes

This. This is what I'm striving for in my life these days. 

I can't put my dreams off until tomorrow. I have to stop telling myself "well, maybe some day...". Start today. Even baby steps count. I don't want to look back on my life and have regrets and "should haves" and "what ifs". Carpe Diem, and all that jazz. 

Are you doing your best work today? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Read All About It: Cherokee Spleen by David Elliott

Read All About It: Cherokee Spleen by David Elliott

I am a huge fan of Fluke by David Elliott and Bart Hopkins, so I was intrigued to check out Cherokee Spleen, written by Elliott. The book is a bit of a mind trip, but in a good way. Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Cherokee Spleen by David Elliott | Book review www.thechroniclesofchaos.com

"When you’ve had four near-death experiences, you have to wonder who’s screwing up: you or God. Step inside the mind of Andy Penny, underachieving 40-year old Florida trailer park resident, perpetual dead-end employee, and uninterested survivor. Revel in Andy’s existence as he uses his near-death experiences as small talk but never truly wonders why he’s still alive. Then, watch through Andy’s inebriated eyes as he sees an episode of Cops filmed in Des Moines, Iowa. Feel the complete and total shock as Andy realizes the meth-addicted domestic abuse victim he’s watching is none other than Allyson Price – his “it girl.” His one that got away. His one true love, Allyson, who disappeared from his life suddenly and completely one night a dozen years earlier, a night Andy was run over by a car. 
Commiserate with Andy as a wave of introspection nearly drowns him, and he comes to the realization that maybe he hasn’t been just not dying. Feel the epiphany when it occurs to him that maybe he’s been kept alive – for a purpose. Steel yourself with Andy’s resolve as he enlists the help of his fiery neighbor Rudy to embark upon a crusade to fulfill this newfound purpose: saving Allyson Price from her squalid existence. Ride along on the journey north, armed with white trash courage, random fortune cookies, Rudy’s unorthodox means of providing for them, and the gearshift from a '95 Jeep Wrangler. Keep yourself focused as events get increasingly ominous and surreal along the way, and, whatever you do, hold on tight as Andy’s story culminates in some dumpy trailer somewhere. And don’t forget: nobody ever listens. 
Part black comedy, part psychological thriller, Cherokee Spleen is a fast-paced, darkly humorous story of one barely-alive slacker’s search for purpose in a world where there seems to be none."

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): 4 out of 5 stars. 

It's a mind trip. And totally refreshing. I love it. 

Here's why I liked it:

  • The main character, Andy, is kind of a douche. But for some reason, that's really refreshing to me. Jerks can be protagonists, too, right? He has had some near-death experiences, which have totally messed him up mentally and physically. He has a girlfriend, but doesn't really love her. He hangs out with his neighbor, Rudy, and gets trashed all the time. And then he sees this episode of COPS featuring Allyson, the girl who got away. And it changes everything for him. She's fallen on hard times, to say the least, and he is on a mission to rescue her. 
  • The story is kind of trippy, featuring dreams and bad omens and fortune cookies, etc. But I love it, I think it adds to the mystery of the book. 
  • Rudy is also a douche. But he cares about Andy in his own way, which is kind of sweet. He's that guy we all know who's always trolling for chicks and much too comfortable with the pharmaceuticals.
  • THE ENDING. I can't even, you guys. It's amazing and little mind-blowing. I can't tell you, or it will be a huge spoiler. But it's one of those endings that you will either completely love or completely hate. And I freaking loved it. It's the perfect ending to this mind trip of a story. It leaves you saying, "Holy crap! What just happened?????" Go read it! 

Favorite Quotes:

  • "How do we get to these places? These places we can't get out of, away from. These places that won't let you go, even if you tried. One minute, you're bounding upward, the next, you're buried. Life does some pretty serious shit to people, indeed."
  • "Is there a bigger picture here that I'm just too dense to see? If so, how long has it been there, me, just too lazy to examine it? Is there something bigger at work here?"
  • "Just want a job where I don't have to do anything but still get paid. Too much to ask for in this life."
  • And my personal favorite: "Don't let things happen to you and then wonder why. Make things happen for you." 

What have you read lately? 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

There's Beauty in the In-Between

There's beauty in the "in-between." That's how Fall makes me feel. We're at that time of year when it's cool enough at dawn and dusk to maybe require a sweater. We're at that time of year when it's still warm enough to drive around with the windows down and crank your new Maroon 5 CD (OK, maybe that's just me). The leaves on the trees are just barely starting to turn colors. It's starting to get darker earlier. New shows are starting on TV. It's like we've gotten on a carousel that hasn't quite reached its speed yet, and we're just slowly spinning, enjoying the ride. 

I was sitting outside at lunch yesterday, reading my book (Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, by Tom and David Kelley, in case you were wondering) and enjoying the cool breeze and listening to the sounds of the day. It was peaceful and content. And I remember thinking to myself, this is beautiful. I don't get enough moments like that. I never just let myself be. 

There's beauty in the "in-between." This also describes my stage in life right now. I'm not yet who I want to become, but not really who I used to be anymore either. Just this transitional, changing, hopeful place. The autumnal equinox of my life, if you will. Oh my God, I'm the biggest nerd on the planet. That will never change. :) 

I'm a big ball of emotions, and hopes, and dreams these days. Raw, vulnerable, unsure. Tears, laughs, worries. 

I'm not really sure there is a point to this post, except to say that I think I'm finally at peace with changing my life. I don't have to have the answers right at this moment. But the one thing I do know for certain is this... 

There's beauty in the "in-between." 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Using My Voice - A Work in Progress

Using My Voice - A Work in Progress | www.thechroniclesofchaos.com

I don't know that I've ever had a voice. I don't mean a physical voice - yes, I can speak. But I mean deeper than that - a voice to speak up for myself. I touched on this very briefly before, but needed time to get my thoughts in order.

It started when I was a child. I'm an only child and have always been quiet and introverted. I was always content to play quietly or read quietly and be left to my own devices. I did my best to not be noticed because I was not comfortable being in the spotlight for any reason nor catching the attention of a mother whose moods were quite unpredictable. Add to that her culture and how I was raised in that children should be seen and not heard and should not be an embarrassment for any reason whatsoever. "What will people think?" was a common refrain. So I further learned to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself.

In school, I often knew the answers, but never raised my hand to contribute because I wanted to stay under the radar. I doubt few of the teachers I had would remember me or anything about me. I tended to give one-word answers if I absolutely could not avoid speaking. One teacher even referred to me as "saturnine" - meaning sullen and overly serious. Obviously, she was an English teacher. 

I've always been "the listener." People will often talk to me and tell me all about their lives, knowing that I will never be confrontational or try and hijack the conversation. That I will always welcome them with a smile. Little do they know that I love being the listener because then I don't have to offer up anything about myself. Someone close to me once said, "You're a hard person to get to know." And it's true. The thought of talking about myself makes me very anxious. I think my husband is probably the only person who truly knows me.

Colleen Hoover, quote

I'm always the "yes" girl. Even when I don't want to be. Because I'd rather go with the flow and be a people-pleaser. Because I'd rather not be a burden or considered selfish or put myself into the equation or raise any kind of ruckus. This often leads to me do things that I don't want to do, just to avoid having to say no. People always tell me, "Oh, you're so great, you never complain." And I don't. My standard answer to everything is, "Sure, that's fine. I'm easy. Whatever you want to do." 

Which brings me to the point [yes, I promise there is one] of this post - I don't have a voice. And I need to work on that. I need to let myself be OK with voicing my opinion, or saying no from time to time. That it's OK to have a different opinion and disagree with someone. Not having a voice for so long leads me to wonder - WHO AM I? I mean, really. Truly. Who am I? What do I want? These are difficult questions for me because then I have to truly stop and think about myself.

And that, my friends, is pretty flippin' scary. But I'm trying. I'm trying to put myself first. I'm trying to make myself heard. My confidence isn't 100% there yet, but I'm trying.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things: Sept 2014 Edition

A Few of My Favorite Things; www.thechroniclesofchaos.com

These are a few of my favorite things... did anybody just sing that line while you read it? It's OK to admit it, no judgments here!

I am fascinated by other people's wish lists or favorite things. Sometimes you can learn more about someone just by seeing the types of things that they like. If you're reading this, you probably know enough about me to assume that my list will be of the nerdus maximus variety. And you would assume correctly.

So let's just get down to it, shall we? 

Moleskine Notebook

Have I mentioned that I love journals? Maybe once or twice or thrice. I am seriously crushing on this classic Moleskine extra large notebook. I mean, just look at it. All purple and lovely and just begging to be written in. Swoon. 

Washington Capitals hoodie

In my quest to expand my sporting horizons beyond football (GO SKINS!), I am branching out and trying to experience other sports. A few months ago, I went to my first Washington Nationals baseball game and I loved it. So now I'm setting my sights on hockey and the Washington Capitals. And girlfriend has to go in style. Check out this hoodie. Lurrvve. 

The Chronicles of Chaos; www.thechroniclesofchaos.com

I don't know if you've noticed, but this old bloggy blog has gotten a facelift. Thank you to Erin for her amazing blog design skills and completely capturing the essence and new direction I envision for this space of mine. 

Lost Girl

Oh, Netflix, you are a beautiful, beautiful thing. A friend of mine recommended this show to me and I have to tell you, I am hooked. Fairies, werewolves, witches, sirens - oh my! I cannot get enough of this show! Go watch it. 

So, these are a few things that I'm digging right now. What are some of yours? Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thoughtful Thursdays: Forever Free

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."; book quotes; quotes about reading

Books have been the constant companions in my life. When I need a friend, when I need an escape, when I need to laugh, or to cry, I read.

Books can transport you to new lands, teach you new things, introduce you to new people... the ability to read is truly a great thing. 

What makes you forever free? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Read All About It: The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry

Read All About it: The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry | www.thechroniclesofchaos.com

I had never heard of Todd Henry or "The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice", but I saw Kenzie's review about it on her blog, Hello Neverland and I knew I had to read it! Here is the synopsis from Goodreads: 

The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry
"Have better ideas, faster, without the stress and burnout. It isn't enough to just do your job anymore. In order to thrive in today's marketplace, all of us-even the accountants-have to be ready to generate brilliant ideas on demand. 

Business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to establish effective practices that unleash your creative potential. Born out of his consultancy and his popular podcast, Henry has created a practical method for discovering your personal creative rhythm. He focuses on five key elements: 

* Focus: Begin with your end goal in mind. 
* Relationships: Build stimulating relationships and ideas will follow. 
* Energy: Manage it as your most valuable resource. 
* Stimuli: Structure the right "inputs" to maximize creative output. 
* Hours: Focus on effectiveness, not efficiency. 

This is a guide for staying inspired and experiencing greater creative productivity than you ever imagined possible."

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): 5 out of 5 stars. 

It was completely and utterly inspiring. I was so pumped after reading it and ready to brainstorm.  

Here's why I liked it:

While the book addresses those who do creative work for a living, and I pursue creative work as a passion (unpaid, sadly), I was still able to adapt the principles that Henry talks about in his book very easily. The strategies on how to plan time in your day to brainstorm really spoke to me. It may seem counter-intuitive to plan time to be creative, but you really have to do it to get the creative juices flowing. I try to do this now at least 3 or 4 times each week to keep my brain fresh. 

Henry also talks about our relationships with others as it relates to creativity. That a lot of the time we create and brainstorm on our own, but that neglecting relationships with others can be a big hindrance to our creative process. As an introvert, I inwardly groan at hearing people say this because it means I might actually have to interact with someone. Ha! But I know Henry is right. Having people to bounce ideas around with and brainstorm opens you up to new perspectives and insights that you might not otherwise come to on your own. This happens to me a lot where I'll think "I like x." And then someone else will say, "Really? I think y is a much better idea, but of this and this and this." And you may not agree or even use their idea, but it still gets your creative process going and may inspire you in a whole new direction. 

Can you tell that I freaking love this book?! He has another book out called "Die Empty" and I have to get my hands on it asap. 

Favorite Quotes:

  • "Remember that common sense is not common practice, and that people who succeed are often those who do the little, everyday things that others won't."
  • "If you want to deliver the right idea at the right moment, you must begin the process far upstream from when you need that idea."
  • And my personal favorite: "You need to create space for your creative process to thrive rather than expect it to operate in the cracks of your frenetic schedule." So true! 

Have you read this book? Did you like it? What are you reading now? I always love new book suggestions! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Write it Down: Confessions from a Notebook Junkie

Confessions from a Notebook Junkie

Hi, my name is Mia and I am addicted to notebooks. What kind of notebooks, you ask? Well, all of them. Spiral notebooks (single and multiple subject), composition notebooks, journals, notepads, the list goes on. 

blank notebooks

blank notebooks

blank composition notebooks

blank composition notebooks

Maybook; notebooks
It's a serious problem. Not really. I love notebooks and always will. There's nothing better than the promise of blank pages! I can sit and write for hours. All of the notebooks pictured here are still blank, but at present time, I have 5 journals that I am currently using. One is a gratitude journal, another is a daily journal, a catch-all miscellaneous creative writing journal, a blog journal, and a Christmas planner journal. My hubby shakes his head at me when he sees me toting my stack of notebooks around. 

Even though I have plenty of journals in my stash, I still can't resist the pull of the office supply section at Target or Walmart. Especially now right after back to school season. I picked up a couple of notebooks yesterday at Target for 6 cents. Yes, SIX cents. They were marked down 70% off. I mean, who can resist???!  Sometimes my son will ask, in complete exasperation, "Mommm! Are we going to look at those books again?" Yes, my love. Yes, we are. 

And let's not even talk about my addiction to colorful pens and my obsessive need to organize them by color. 

colorful pens

That's a story for another day. 

Do you have a notebook/pen obsession like me? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Clean Eating: My Go-To Smoothie for Busy Mornings

Clean Eating Smoothie for busy mornings
Oh, those busy mornings. You know what I'm talking about. Your alarm goes off. You fumble around, trying to turn it off. You lay there for a second and think, "ughghghghghghghghghgh. I don't want to get up." And maybe you close your eyes and accidentally fall back asleep rest for a few more minutes. 

This unplanned siesta throws off your whole morning, and you rush around trying to get dressed, get the kids dressed, and then you remember... 

Breakfast. The most important meal of the day. You know you don't have time to sit down and have a proper breakfast. But you also know that you have to eat something. Well, never fear, my dears. I have a quick and easy smoothie that you can take with you and drink in the car on the way to work. 

You will need:
Paleo almond milk smoothie
-8 oz unsweetened almond milk
-1 banana (the more ripe it is, the better because the natural sweetness will flavor your smoothie!)
-4 tablespoons of almond butter
-2 teaspoons of unsweetened cacao powder
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-6 ice cubes

Blend all of the ingredients except the ice. Once it's all mixed up and smooth, blend in the ice cubes. And voila! You are done. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Tastes good, gives you a shot of protein and potassium in the morning, and it definitely leaves you feeling full. Boom boom pow. 

Paleo smoothie

I got this recipe from this awesome book. They aren't compensating me in any way, I just love the recipe and wanted to share. Enjoy!

Paleo recipes for beginners

Friday, September 12, 2014

Art Journaling: An Artist's Creative Process

I am a journal junkie. I started a gratitude journal about a month ago. I also have a "regular" journal where I just write down whatever comes to mind - quotes that catch my eye, to do lists, ideas for projects, or just how I'm feeling, etc. 

But one type of journal that I have not tried is an art journal. I've seen lots of beautiful, inspiring photos on Instagram and Pinterest of people's art journal entries, but I've been too intimidated to try it because my art has always been words and I sadly did not inherit the paint/draw/sketch/sculpt artistic gene. 
But recently, I've been admiring my friend Cody's art journal entries because she is a true artist and posts some of the most amazing pictures. Cody blogs over at Catching Cody K and I will let her tell you more about her art journaling and creative process. 

Hey Everyone. My name is Cody and my blog is Catching Cody K. I am a lifesyle blogger. I try to post honest and real posts about my life such as my medical concerns over my stomach, having a special needs brothers, and living life in Florida. But today I am so thankful to be here as a guest poster talking about something very dear to me, my art.


I have always created art. When I was younger I would carry a cheap composition notebook. My mother saw how much art meant to me and would buy me art kits for Christmas and Birthdays. However, I was very much into crayons and colored pencils then.

Somewhere along the way, I just stopped drawing. I guess it got a little boring drawing imaginationary characters (anime people) and everyday life. Then this year, I discovered the world of Art Journaling thanks to good ol' YouTube. Art journaling is a way to express yourself how ever you choose. There are soo many wonderful videos on this topic. I could have spent hours watching but I knew that wasn't going to improve my skill or fill an art journal that way. I had to put in the time to do so.
I started off going to Wal-Mart, cheap and easy. I found a Smash Book on sale. At the same time I bought a set of cheap acrylic paints to try out. However,  I felt really bad about covering up such beautiful paper with paint in that book. That's when I knew I need a journal that could handle acrylic paints. That is when I went back to YouTube and then Pinterest to see what journal/book would be best for paints. I found great examples but I knew I was going to fill an imaged book if I didn't buy one soon. So I took a trip to Michael's and then to Barnes and Nobles to fiddle with each type of different paper and sketch books to see what I liked best.
I decided to buy two already bound books from Barnes and Noble. One would be for me to create and try whatever I want inside. The other would be for me to use for my art journaling groups; I am currently in three. There are two on Facebook that I am in; Journal52 and The Documented Life Project. They post prompts weekly to help inspire or give direction.  Those are great groups if you are starting out and want inspiration or need help. I also am in #GetMessyArtJournal group, that is a closed group of girls that create art weekly.

After I got the art journals home, it was just a matter of filling them out. I love to use acrylic paints. I love how fast they dry, perfect for the impatient artist. Then I also discovered different types of art journaling. There is the normal painting, then mixed media where you can use different types of paint or add elements, there is also glue journaling. Glue journaling is using what you have around you (like magazines) to express yourself. I love the glue method of art journaling because when I am tired I can still create a page expressing myself. Yet I never try to limit myself on one style. I create whenever (sometimes right before bed) and however I like.


I have been creating in my art journals for one whole month now. I can't believe how much I have change from then til now. I have improved my skills in every way. I know more about the style I like to create in. I know more about myself now. All because I decided to just go for it. So what if I didn't like a page, I still created that page. In 10 years from now I don't want to look back and wish I created. I want to look back and see every single journal I created. Imagine how much improvement could be accomplished by then.
I suggest for those that are new or anyone that wants to create, look up inspiration. Try YouTube, or Pinterest or Facebook (try DaisyYellow or #30lists too) but don't stop there. Find your medium. Are you an oil gal or a watercolor man? Or something else? Then your paper of choice. What you use for an art journal is up to you. Some people like already bound books, like I do, others don't mind coils. Where other people like loose leaf paper.  Don't get caught up in everyone else's style or way, just yours. Find what works for you. You can't create art by watching, only doing. Remember that if you start today, you'll be better tomorrow.
I hope that I inspired you to create. Thank you so much Mia for the chance to be here. =] I hope all of you will follow my social medias, and I would be happy to answer any questions or help inspire you.


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thoughtful Thursdays: Give Thanks

What do you appreciate and give thanks for in your life? 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Read All About it: Six Seconds by Rick Mofina

I recently read "Six Seconds" by Rick Mofina. I had heard of him before, but this is the first book I've read by him. 

Here's the synopsis from Goodreads: 
"A vengeful woman who aches for her place in paradise...
In Iraq an aid worker who lost her husband and child in a brutal attack saves the life of an American contractor. Believing he can help her avenge her family's deaths, she follows him back home to the United States.

An anguished mother desperate to find her child...
In California a soccer mom arrives to pick up her son from school, only to discover that her husband has taken their child and vanished without a trace.

A detective who needs to redeem himself...
In the Rocky Mountains an off-duty cop rescues a little girl from a raging river moments before she utters her final words in his arms. Haunted by failure, he launches an investigation that leads him to a Montana school where time is ticking down on an event that will rewrite history....

Three strangers entangled in a plot to change the world in only six seconds..."

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): 4 out of 5 stars. 

I really like when multiple storylines that are seemingly unrelated come together. It's always interesting to follow the journeys of the characters involved and see how their lives intertwine. 

You can probably make an educated guess from reading the synopsis that this book involves the threat of a terrorist act.  And when you read it, you will know very early on who is organizing the threat. But for me, the book really excelled in the journey from point A - OK, we know there's a threat; to point B - why are they doing it, what are they doing, and how do we find them before it's too late? 

I'm no scientist, but the technology involved with the terrorist threat really adds to the intensity of the story. It definitely sounds like something that could be possible in the [near] future. It gave me the chills. 

My favorite character is Daniel Graham, an off-duty Canadian Mountie who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets sucked into the investigation. He faces many obstacles in his quest to unravel the mystery, but he never gives up, even when everyone else thinks the matter is closed and thinks he's crazy for not letting it go. 

Anyway, I can't tell you much more than that without giving away some key plot points, but I will tell you this - go read it. It's equal parts thrilling, heart-wrenching, and hopeful. 

Favorite Quotes from the Book:

  • "Truth is often a fugitive in D.C. and searching for it can be damaging to your career."
  • "We only have the life of this world. We die and we live, and nothing destroys us but time."

Have you read any good books lately? Share some recommendations in the comments, I'd love to check them out! 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Create Something Every Day [ + Free Printable ]

Create Something Every Day; inspirational quotes; free printable
There's a FREE printable waiting for you at the bottom of this post! :) 

In my newly revitalized creative energy, I have found that creating a little something every day has been not only productive in continuing the creative energy, but it also pretty relaxing as well. Whether it's a poem, a short story, a journal entry, a blog post, a drawing, a sketch, a recipe, a craft - whatever your heart desires - it all counts. 

I used to think that "creating" meant you had to be really good at whatever it is you were making, which would always make me shy away from it. "I can't draw. I'm not an artist. I have no idea what to write today." Blah blah blah, you get the gist. But I'm finding that as long as you take comfort and joy in what you are doing, you can create anything. 

We had a family painting party the other day in the front yard. Armed with some cheap, blank canvases and brushes and paints from Target, we dove right in. And we had a blast. 

We had so much fun that I decided to do it again the next day. And I feel like with a little practice, I'll get even better at it. 
So, here's my challenge to you...

free printable; Create Something Every Day, www.thechroniclesofchaos.com
Click here for a FREE printable of the image above. It's simple, and short and sweet. Pin it up on your inspiration board, or put it in a frame, or wherever you want. It's just a reminder that we're all creators and artists in our own way. Don't be afraid to try something new.