Monthly Wrap – August 2015

September 1, 2015 Books, Monthly Wrap Up 2


August!!! Look at you baby! I thought we weren’t going to get along this year, but you surprised me. We read:

98.  The Graveyard Book: Full Cast Production by Neil Gaiman, read by Various
99.  Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman
100.  What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe, read by Wil Wheaton
101.  In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, read by Scott Brick
102. Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud
103.  The Fade Out, Issue 8 by Ed Brubaker
104.  Lumberjanes, Issue 16 by Noelle Stevenson
105.  Wayward, Issue 9 by Jim Zub
106. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, read by Bernadette Dunne

For all my whining about lack of reading time, I managed to get a few titles under my belt. I don’t know where I could have been without audiobooks. Lost somewhere, trying to find the words back to civilization I expect. 4 audiobooks in a row! I don’t remember the last time I did that. Certainly haven’t listened to 5 in a month in quite awhile. All my favorite comics represented this month too. Geez, I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite title for the month. I love love loved In the Heart of the Sea and Mr. Mac and Me was all out charming.  And my impromptu reread (by listening) of We Have Always Lived in the Castle yesterday was literally chilling. I’m serious, as soon as Bernadette Dunne spoke, a chill went down my spin. LOVE that. So, I’m calling August a success. Here’s hoping September is even better!



Readers Imbibing Peril : RIP X

August 31, 2015 Reading Challenges 7

Image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.

Image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.

So, if you’ve been following me for the last couple of days, you’ll know I’ve been teasing something. I’m so excited to finally say WHAT. Andi and I are hosting RIP X this year. Carl asked us to help out and, well, we practically jumped out of our skin at the chance. Head on over to The Estella Society to sign up now!

So, since we’re discussing RIP X *squee!* you know I’ve already made my list. I’m mainly focusing on Peril the First, which is to read four books that fit the criteria of RIP: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, Supernatural.

  • Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson
  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
  • Eleanor by Jason Gurley
  • The Sleep Garden by Jim Krusoe
  • Strange Girl by Christopher Pike
  • The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue
  • The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
  • The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman
  • Jackaby by William Ritter
  • The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black
  • The Quick by Lauren Owen
  • The Removers by Andrew Meredith

And these are just the books on my iPad. I have several audio books lined up and actual real, live books, to, like, hold in my hand and turn the pages myself and stuff. I’m also entertaining another reread of Dracula. I wouldn’t mind listening to the superb full cast production Audible did a couple years ago. It is SO good.

We’re also doing a readalong of The Quick by Lauren Owen, which I’m really excited about. Sign up now!!!!




Currently // Ponderings

August 30, 2015 Currently, Miscellaneous 17

Right this minute | Pondering if it’s bad that I’ve never read VC Andrews. Is it? Should I right this wrong? Where do I start?

Feeling | Irritated. The kids woke up determined not to get along this morning.

Reading | I think I’m going to devote the day to Lovelace and Babbage! And maybe throw in the new issue of Rat Queens.

Listening | I’ve been listening to quite a bit of classical music this week, which I think is indicative of where my head has been. Shostakovich for the win!

Watching | I’m being forced to watch Adventure Time this morning. I am not a fan.

Blogging | I’m still fiddling with a schedule. We’ll get there.

Promoting | Oh, I want to say so badly, but I’m going to be patient and make you wait. LOL

Loving | Chai tea and coloring books, the cooler weather and sweaters.

Hating | That my kids are so mercurial. I love it so much when they get along and it just makes me so much sadder when they don’t. THIS IS WHY I NEEDED A SIBLING. I can’t deal. At least right now I can’t. I need food.

Eating | Not much. I guess I’ll get some cereal in a bit.

Exercising | I swear I’m going to remove this. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Anticipating | EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I want to say so badly!

So, what are you CURRENTLY up to?



This Week For Dinner – Week of 08.30.15

August 29, 2015 Food, Weekend Cooking 5


Saturday – Loaded Potato Soup – My own recipe.

Sunday – We’ll eat lunch with Aaron’s family. I plan to make the following for school lunches this week: Cheesy Corn Dog Muffins and pigs in the blanket. I also hope to get packets of fruit and veggies together so all I have to do is grab them and throw them in lunch bags.

MondayLunches – Me: Leftover spaghetti. Kids: The boy gets a cheesy corn dog muffin with mandarin oranges and pretzels. The girl gets pigs in the blanket with cheese sticks, grapes, and cucumbers with carrot sticks.

DinnerSlow cooker Korean Beef with rice and roasted zucchini, mushrooms, and onions.

TuesdayLunches – Me:  Leftover Korean Beef with Rice because yum. Kids: Regular quesadilla for the girl and a pizza quesadilla for the boy. Also berries and tortilla chips with guacamole for the girl and grapes, cucumber slices, and chips for His Pickiness.

DinnerSlow cooker chicken and gravy with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts.

WednesdayLunches – Me: Leftover chicken and gravy with rice, I expect. Kids: Pigs in the blanket with cheese sticks, apple slices, and crackers (Triscuits for the girl and Cheez-Its for the boy). I’ll probably throw in a cookie or two for good measure.

Dinner: We didn’t get to have the sauerkraut and weenies last week due to life happening, so I moved it to this night. I still plan to have potatoes latkes with it.

ThursdayLunches – Me: I figure I’ll be wanting some Chipotle by this day, so I’ll have a veggie burrito bowl for lunch. Kids: I figured I’d either give them pigs in the blanket again or corn dog muffins again with some fruit and crackers. And also veggies.

Dinner: With my family.

FridayLunches – Me: Probably out again. Kids: Ham sandwiches, cheese sticks, carrot and cucumber slices (with ranch for the boy), and crackers.

Dinner: Kids will be with MIL and I’ll be fending for myself. Probably some GF pasta in cheese sauce for ease.

Making the list last week helped SO MUCH!! How do you plan for the week?

I’m linking up to Weekend Cooking this week. Visit for more on all things food!

weekendcookingWeekend Cooking hosted by BethFishReads every weekend.  It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.



Currently Crushing On….

August 28, 2015 Lists 7

crush-on-you copy Cheesy-Corn-Dog-Muffins1

I am currently loving all these different “entrees” that can be made in a muffing tin. They make packing lunch SO EASY. Or, hopefully they will when I actually try them out, my kids actually try them, and then hopefully love them. (Mini Deep Dish Pizzas, Pepperoni Pizza Puffs, and Cheesy Corndog  Muffins [see above] are all in my sights)


I am currently obsessed with double exposure photography. I will figure out how to do this. There are several tutorials online and I WILL LEARN. But I am obsessed, I tell you, OBSESSED. More to come on this one.


DOCTOR WHO LEGOS!!!! Must have.

bombgirlsDoctor-Who-Season-8-DVD qkdx9DKHkSE.market_maxres

Netflix. I’ve had to bring some work home with me lately, and I’ve been watching these shows. THEY ARE SO GOOD. Bomb Girls is absolutely fantastic. And now that season 8 of Doctor Who is FINALLY on Netflix, I’m catching up. Hidden Kingdoms is a marvel. It got my Minecraft-and-YouTube-obsessed son to sit, spellbound, for over an hour. And now all he’ll talk about are these tiny animals. It’s true love. For both of us.

So, what are you obsessed with this week?



Reading Notes – August 27 ,2015

August 27, 2015 Books, Reading Notes 7


I feel kind of weird doing a Reading Notes post, seeing as I’m still not doing a ton of reading, but it’s part of my new schedule and I want to get off on the right foot. I just typed food, so I think you can see where my mind is at.

fivedaysatmemorialAs for reading, I’ve been listening to Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink and Holy Cow Guacamole. The full title is Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink and for good reason. I knew Katrina was bad, who didn’t know Katrina was bad, but I HAD NO IDEA and I bet you didn’t either. The news focused so much on the looting and the mismanagement by the government that this story, and so many others I’m sure, went ignored. I’m glad it wasn’t ignored for long.

Emergencies are crucibles that contain and reveal the daily, slower-burning problems of medicine and beyond – our vulnerabilities; our trouble grappling with uncertainty, how we die, how we prioritize and divide what is most precious and vital and limited; even our biases and blindnesses.

And hopefully those that need to know, learned from it. I can’t wait to get back to my listening. And how serendipitous that I managed to be listening during the anniversary of the storm. Way to go me!

Another book I’m reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Syndey Padua. lovelaceandbabbageAda Lovelace and Charles Babbage were real people. Ada Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron and, somewhat surprisingly, something of a mathematical genius. Charles Babbage was something of an inventor who had the idea for a proto-computer, but never really built anything. I have been fascinated by Lovelace for a long time. How does the daughter of such a celebrated poet become interested in mathematics? How does she write what is basically the beginnings of computer programming theory? Where does that come from?

And what could she have done if she hadn’t died so very young?

This book explores that. I have just reached the end of what was real, and am entering the part of the book that imagines. I wish I had more time to pick it up. I can’t wait for the weekend!

therestofusLastly, being such an impatient cuss, I started The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I would say I feel a little apprehensive about this book and I’m pretty sure a few of you would understand why. I seriously LOVE Patrick Ness. Adore him. Feel he can do no wrong. And that can be dangerous, because more often that not, an author like that will let you down. Plus, I don’t read as much young adult as I used to because, well, it sometimes gets on my nerves.

Happily, even though I’m only about 25% into the book, it is NOT getting on my nerves. Unhappily, I’m not exactly sure what it is doing to me. The premise is great. What WOULD it be like to not be the star? To be the one on the outside of all the adventure? To be the one looking in, wondering what it’s like to be the hero?

I will let you know.

So, how is your reading week going?



Capricious Travelist Visits…

August 26, 2015 Books, Travelist 7


If I had the money, and the time, there are so many places I would love to visit. Some, because I’ve seen them in movies, some in books, and some…well…just because. The first place I would go would be Ireland. I have long had a fascination with it, mainly because, while I am a “mutt,” I am a lot “Irish.” I grew up hearing just how Irish I am from my grandmother, who was (obviously) more Irish than me. She knew a lot about our history and even had our family (Moore, derived from O’More, from County Kildare) coat of arms on her bedroom wall.

So, take all that hearing about Ireland while growing up, then reading an awesome book set there in my late, and slightly restless 20s and the deal was sealed. If I can ever afford to travel somewhere outside of the US, it will be Ireland.

IrelandDelaneyThe book? Ireland by Frank Delaney. You guys, this magical book touched something deep inside me.  I literally read this book 10 years ago, and, believe it or not, I actually reviewed it. This is me, 10 years ago, so it’s not that great, but I wanted to share my thoughts from then anyway:

Every once and awhile, a book comes along that takes you on the most beautiful, magical journey and in turn ruins you for any other book for the next several weeks. Ireland did this to me. This novel felt like coming home, there was such a sense of belonging and well being emanating from it. This novel is many ancient Irish folklore stories laid out in one big, beautiful story. And it made me realize the value of the oral tradition that many ancient civilizations depended on. My poor humble words can do it no justice.

Ronan O’Mara, age 9, met the most magical, mysterious man. The Storyteller, the only name the man will give anyone, came to his home for a few nights in the late 1940s and changed his world forever. Feeling a strange and inexplicable connection to this man, Ronan spends the next several years desperately trying to find him again, only to meet many roadblocks. Along the way, people share with him the stories the Storyteller shared with them; stories about Ireland’s ancient, rich and beautiful past. As the Ronan grows he learns many interesting things about his family and himself.

I’ve since read the book a couple of times (and now want to read it again!) and every time I find myself wanting to go to Ireland. I just…feel this connection to it, if that makes sense.

Other books I’ve read that only strengthened the urge?


Still others I’d like to read:


How about you? Where would you like to visit? Have any great books about or set in Ireland for me?



Top Ten Tuesday – Bad Girls 101

August 25, 2015 Meme 6


Okay class, just what is a Bad Girl? Is she a character you despise? A character who does bad things? Does she have a reason? Or not? The Bad Girl (just like The Bad Boy) is usually a antagonist, someone who stands in opposition to a charcter, idea, or just generally has a damn good time. The Bad Girl can be a rebel, an outcast, black sheep, or troubled. Her choices in life are often unconventional and misunderstood by others. She can be loud and obnoxious, or silent and watchful. She can be stark raving mad or coldly sane. Most often she does not care about what anyone thinks but is mainly looking out for Priority Number One. Herself.

So. Who fits that criteria?

  1. Emma Bovary from Madame Bovary – You gotta love Emma. She has several love affairs and lives beyond her means, not really caring what it does to her husband, a good and humble doctor, or their daughter. Emma craves nothing but beauty, fine possessions, and passion. She gets it, but at what price?
  2. Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind – She declares she will never go hungry again and by God she delivered! Frankly my dear, don’t no one give a damn.
  3. The White Witch from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Always winter and never Christmas? You don’t get much crueler than that.
  4. Amy Dunne from Gone Girl – This girl be stark raving.
  5. Lady Audley from Lady Audley’s Secret – This is just the best: The plot was summarised [sic] by literary critic Elaine Showalter(1982): “Braddon’s bigamous heroine deserts her child, pushes husband number one down a well, thinks about poisoning husband number two and sets fire to a hotel in which her other male acquaintances are residing”. Don’t get much badder than that.
  6. Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair – At first, you almost want to feel sorry for Becky. Then you don’t. Because wow
  7. Caroline Bingley from Pride and Prejudice – Oh come on. Don’t you just want to smack her?
  8. Lady Macbeth from Macbeth – Girlfriend goads her husband into killing the king. Seriously:

    Infirm of purpose!Give me the daggers.
    The sleeping and the dead
    Are but as pictures; ’tis the eye of childhood
    That fears a painted devil.

  9. Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter – Seriously, sit there a crazier, more evil witch? Oh wait…
  10. Delores Umbridge from Harry Potter – I can honestly say I hate Umbridge more. Bellatrix is just nuts. Umbridge is pure evil.

What do you think of these Bad Girls? Who would you add to the list? What can we learn from their characters?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

August 24, 2015 Books, Meme 7



Last week:

You guys!! I finished books!!! Look! I’m so proud of me.

fivedaysatmemorial lovelaceandbabbage

This week:

I’m listening to Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink, which is much more interesting that I thought and I’m reading The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Syndey Padua, a comic/history/fantasy book about what could have happened to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage if 1) she hadn’t tied too young and 2) he had finished his Difference Engine, or what would have been the first computer. It’s great. Seriously.


Up next:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness is high up on my list. I honestly can’t believe I haven’t read it yet. I also really want to get to Deep South by Paul Theroux. I can’t believe I’ve never read Theroux!

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Currently // Nonfiction is the Word

August 23, 2015 Currently, Miscellaneous 9

Right this minute | I’m sitting on the couch with my morning chai latte, writing up this post and thinking about breakfast.

Feeling | Pretty chill, for me.

Reading | I finished a book this week guys! A great book! Which I now have to go look up the title to because I can’t remember it…oh…right! In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, read by Scott Brick. YES IT WAS AN AUDIO, but it was damn good. Way more exciting than Moby Dick. Like, way way. I should finish up Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud today. It’s damn good too.

Listening | I listened to the Philbrick pretty fast (in like three days), so I’ve been listening to podcasts to 1) catch up because I have over 100 unlistened to and 2) to “cleanse my palette” and 3) also to have something to listen to until I figure out which book to listen to next. I’m feeling like nonfiction is the word of the moment for me. Whenever I can’t read, nonfic seems to pull me out of it.

Watching | We’re watching Heroes at work, to catch up before the new series begins. It has Zachary Levi dudes. I will so watch it. I can’t wait for Blacklist to come back too. I’m hoping for some free time tomorrow to color and perhaps watch more of Bomb Girls on Netflix.

Blogging | I’ve worked up a new, loose, schedule for myself. I’m having a bit of a Blog Identity Crisis (BIC) and I need to branch out. This BIC is really hitting my book review desire, as in, I don’t want to do it, and I need other things to talk about. I hope that 1) it works and 2) you’ll still be interested in what I have to say…just…about other things.

Promoting | Something VERY EXCITING VERY SOON. I die.

Loving | The lack of itching going on. I’m still itchy, but not as bad. And also, SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW! I’m so ready to have that structure in our life again.

Hating | The heat. I am so ready for fall. I think I’ve mentioned that a few times.

Eating | I posted my meal plan yesterday! And I got some gluten free goodies at the Farmer’s Market. There is a lovely girl who makes treats and I always pick up a couple. I have an amazing Tomato Tart, a Cranberry Apricot Scone, and POUND CAKE. The pound cake was not only delicious, I swear it tasted like the real thing.

Exercising | I’m going to start, I swear. No, don’t look behind my back, my fingers are not crossed.

Anticipating | So many things. Details soon. Promise.