Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi Ya'll! This week I thought I would do something a little different. I'm still going to post my usual Tuesday book stuff, but I thought it would be fun to share with ya'll my bookshelf. I only have one right now and as you will see it is overflowing with not only books, but my Eeyore collection!

What I got:

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
Siren Song by Cat Adams
I got both of these with Birthday money!
One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen
I got this one through Amazon, they had sent me an email saying I had a $10 credit! Boy was it hard chosing just one book!!

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I won this one on Listia
The Morganville Vimpires vol 2 by Rachel Cain
Ruined by Paula Morris
I bought both of these at a used book store. I had recently won the latest book in the Morganville Vampire series, but have yet to read any of them so I am trying to find them all at my local used bookstores..

What I Read:

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
I loved Colt and Julia's story. It was very Romeo and Juliet like. And of course I just love the cover!!
Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
I loved this book as well. At first I did not like the way Chelsea was treating her boyfrind, but after awhile I was rooting for her to be with Clint!
Kiss It by Erin Downing
I wasn't too sure about this book at first. I thought it was a little too crass at first for being a YA book, but then I got to thinking back to when I was that age, and I was just like Chaz, only not out loud.. So it was nice to see that I was not the only teenager to act/think the way Chaz does..
One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen
Oh how I love this series! I cannot wait till the next book comes out!!

Now to show off my bookshelf!

Here is a full view of my shelf
 The first 2 shelves are mostly my hardback collections. I have just about every Nicholas Sparks book. I have all the Twilight books, and a few of the House of Night series. I would like to complete that series someday..

The 3rd shelf is mostly paperback collections like Nora Roberts and Keri Aurthor. The hubs also has a few books on this shelf.. And the bottom shelf is everything else and then some.

Before we moved into our apt, I use to have a huge built in bookshelf in my living room. Thats where I kept most of my Eeyore collection and pictures. We did have another bookshelf, but it did not survive the move.. We have a huge box in a closet that has more books in it (mostly the hubs stuff). One of these days I plan to get another bookshelf and have the hubs build me some shelfs to put pictures and my Eeyores on!

What are you reading?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Check it Out!

Hi Ya'll! Today you need to go check out my guest post over at From Coupons to Canning!
  I'm so excited. This is my first guest post!! So, what are you waiting for? Go check it out!!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review Thursday- GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan

GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Pub date: 9/13/11
What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...
Oh what can I say about GLOW? It was an amazing read! I’ve seen a number of reviews comparing GLOW to The Hunger Games, but since I have yet to read that series I cannot make that jump.  I know, I know I need to read the hunger Games soon! That series is in the middle of a very long list of books on my Kindle I need to read… I’m hoping to get the series read before the movie comes out.
That being said I was sucked into this book from page one.  I’ve started to read more Dystopian/Apocalyptic and am now wondering what has taken me so long to start reading this genre! I absolutely loved Ryan’s writing.  As with any book there are parts that I loved and parts that I did not care for.
First for the bits that I loved; I loved how easily the author was able to transport me as a reader into a futuristic world of spaceships and the search for a new earth while aboard the Empyrean.  The plot was easy to follow and full of unexpected twists and turns. I loved Waverly. Her character is stubborn and full of gumption. She was not easily convinced by the promises and reassurances being spouted by the people from the New Horizon ship. As for the boys, I’m not sure who I like or dislike… At first I was on Seth’s side, but then I was on Kieran’s side. By the end of the book I’m not sure any more who I want to side with (hence the unexpected twists and turns!).
Now for the bits I did not care for. Only a couple things really, first off when the adults are trying to fix a radiation leak there is no mention of how they decontaminated themselves after fixing everything. So, now if you go by reality standers the adults not only killed themselves with the radiation, but every child that came into contact with them. Normally something like this would escape my notice because I would not know any better, but my husband was a submariner on a nuclear submarine. So I know a little about radiation and contamination.  I think Ryan could have done a little more research on the contamination of radiation. And lastly, as much as I love this book and am impatiently awaiting the next in the series, I did not like the way Ryan ended this book. I felt that the “cliff hanger” was not much of a cliff hanger. I would of loved to of had an ending that left me chomping at the bit for the next book. Don’t get me wrong, like I said I am dying to get my hands on the next one, but I feel like there could have been a more dramatic/action packed ending.
Overall I loved GLOW and would recommend it to anyone looking for an awesome space adventure.
 I would also like to thank St. Martin’s Press for the giveaway they did on Facebook. I was super excited to have won this book. My rating: 5/5 stars


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi Ya'll! I have been in a book reading slump this past week.. It seems like every book I pick up I end up getting frustrated with it and end up hating it or not being able to finish. I've been super excited about some of the books I've gotten recently, but am afraid with the book mood I'm in, I will not enjoy them.

Anyways, here is my week in books!

What I got:

Fast Tracked by Tracy Rozzlyn
Verita by Tracy Rozzlyn

Rippler by Cindy Swanson
Kings & Queens by Courtney Vail

I won all of these from LibraryThing. They are all ebooks.

What I Read:

Next To Love by Ellen Feldman
Review to come..

Wildfire by Karsten Knight
Oh how I loved this book! This book helped me get out of the book slump I was in all week. Look out for my review in the next few weeks..

What are you reading?


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake

Hi Ya'll! As you know yesterday was my birthday and my hubs gave me an awesome round cake pan with a removable bottom. So I had go find the perfect cheesecake recipe to make for my birthday!
The hubs made me biscuits and gravy for breakfast. We spent most of the day watching old episodes of Saturday Night Live. Overall it was a pretty great birthday!!

Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake:

24 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
6 Tbsp.  butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg. (14 oz.) Caramels
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped pecans
3 pkg.  (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 squares BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Heat oven to 325°F.
Mix crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan. Microwave caramels and milk in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 3 min. or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Stir in nuts; pour half into crust. Refrigerate 10 min. Refrigerate remaining caramel mixture for later use.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over caramel layer in crust.

Bake 1 hour 5 min. to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Microwave reserved caramel mixture 1 min.; stir. Pour over cheesecake. Melt chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cheesecake.

Eat and Enjoy!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Hi Ya'll! Well today is my birthday! I'm one year closer to 30.. The hubs got me all kinds of awesome kitchen goodies!

The silicone baking pan was suppose to be red to match the rest of my kitchen, but as you can see, that is not red! I have never baked with a pan like this, have any of you? Do you like them?

I have been wanting a sringform pan for a really long time.. The hubs ended up getting me this cheesecake pan that has a removable bottom. Its a "professional" baking pan. Very cool! I can't wait to use it!!

I just love the marble slab and the french rolling pin!

I've been wanting one of these scrappers for like ever!

My mom also sent me some great Ducks gear just in time for the U of O vs LSU game that will be played here in Texas (right down the road from us!)!!

Thanks everyone for an awesome birthday!
 Come back tomorrow to see what I baked (with my new pan) for my birthday!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review Thursday- The Goddess Test by Amy Carter

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

(This review contains spoilers)
I had been wanting to read this book for a while now... I’ve seen it everywhere all over the blog world and thought it sounded like it would be a great book. And it does sounds like a great book. Unfortunately it was just an okay book.

I love Greek mythology, and understand that every author is entitled to have a creative license in their writing. With that being said I think this author took her creative license a bit too far. There are just some things that you should not change, ever! Greek mythology is one of them.

To take Hades, the God of the Underworld, and turn him into Henry, a depressed, “tortured”, person who sulks around is a crime! Hades is supposed to be this big bad scary guy that you would never want to mess with. I mean come on he kidnapped Persephone and made her his wife for God’s sake. He was not a sullen 20 something feeling sorry for himself over a girl not loving him back who answers to a “council”.

I felt the plot was a bit predictable and cheesy. Giving Kate 7 test to decide if she is worthy to become Henry’s wife and immortal is one thing, but to test her on the 7 sins (wrath, greed, pride, lust, envy, gluttony, and sloth) is just silly. Why would the Greek Gods care about any of that? They were chock full of wrath, greed, pride, lust, envy, gluttony and slothfulness! They should of tested her on things like intelligence, judgment, strength, and courage. Send her on a quest to slay a dragon or behead Medusa or something equally challenging!

The author had great potential with the idea behind her book. She just needed to do more research on the Greek Gods. I also felt that Kate did nothing. She was waited on and handed everything she wanted/needed while pinning over a guy who was in love with another woman. The “tests” happened without any, well, action. All of a sudden the tests were done.

The only redeeming quality in this book was Kate’s relationship with her dying mother. In the beginning of the book all Kate wanted to do was take care of her mother. To spend every minute possible with her, before she dies. Sadly the author chose to screw with this as well when she revealed that Kate’s mom was the Goddess Demeter. This makes Kate, Persephone’s sister. This brings on a whole other level of weird...

Over all if you’re looking for a quick light read this is the book for you. Like I said, the author had a good concept and I did enjoy parts of this book. I do wish the mythology wasn’t messed with. Hopefully the next book in this series will be better!

My rating: 3/5 stars


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi Ya'll! This weeks Book Tuesday is awesome! Not only did I get some great books in the mail, but I got a few for review too! I was super excited to hear that I won a copy of Wildefire! I've been so stoked to read it! Even though I have stopped going to the library, my TBR pile is growing! I need to get on top of it!

What I got:

Wildefire by Karsten Knight
I won this one from Books Complete Me. The cover is so pretty! I can't wait to read it!!

Untamed by P.C. + Kristen Cast
I recieved this book as a R.A.K from Kt at A Book Obsession. Thank you so much!!

Revealers by Amanda Marrone
I won this book from Listia. It sounds like a great book and I can't wait to read it!

For Review

I recived both of these books from netGalley on my Kindle.

What I Read:

A Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray
You can find my review for this book here

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Loved it! Review coming soon!

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
This book was amazing.. I will have a full review soon!

What have you been reading?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Hi Ya'll! I meant to get this posted over the weekend, but I'm lazy.. I have no real reason for not posting. I did manage to get two book reviews done and started working on my birthday post so that's something right? Not completely lazy..

Anyways before we move onto this yummy super easy recipe, I would like to share a blog with you. Someone I use to know back in my Oregon life has started a blog called From Coupons to Canning where she posts about anything and everything pertaining to, you guessed it, Coupons to Canning. There is a great post on how to make your own vanilla extract. Also she is hosting a giveaway right now for some amazing sounding jams!
Go check it out!

Now for some cookie dough bites! I got this amazingly simple recipe from Shugary Sweets.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites:

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
12 oz chocolate coating, melted (you can also use vanilla coating, to dip or drizzle)
Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat in flour and salt. Fold in chocolate morsels. Scoop (about 1-2 tbsp) onto a parchment lined baking sheet. I made really big ones, not really thinking about it, but the husband said I should make them smaller next time.. More bit size instead of regular cookie size..
 Freeze for about 2 hours (or overnight).
Using two forks, dip into melted chocolate coating and return to parchment. Drizzle with melted vanilla bark (if you want..) and refrigerate. I also did not do the vanilla drizzle. I didn't have and vanilla bark and did not feel like walking to the store to get some. I will admit they would so much prettier with the drizzle though..


Eat and Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite super easy recipe?


Friday, August 12, 2011


Hi Ya'll! I was so not motivated at all this last week to do much posting! I promise I will try and be better about posting more.. I recently took a look at my past posts and noticed that I have stopped sharing what the hubs cooks. Since he has been out of school we have been in a cooking rut and the hubs has not done much of anything! (As I type this he is sitting next to me playing Grand Theft Auto..) Don't get me wrong, the man deserves an actual break from school! He will be starting his senior year in a few weeks after being in school for only 2 years. He has worked super hard to get to this point and I could not be prouder of him! But with that being said, he has not done much of anything this summer. He says once school starts back up he will be motivated to start cooking again.  So look forward to that!

As far as the book thing goes, I am super excited to be starting to do reviews! I have quite a few books waiting for me to read and review. I would love to say that I have put a huge dent in my TBR pile.. but that would be a lie.. I've read 2 books on my kindle (one for review and one that I bought) and have only gotten one read from my physical stack of books so far. I am also super excited for some of the books I will be getting in the mail in the next week or so!

Along with awesome books coming and great recipes, my birthday is next week! I'll be 29 this year.. One year closer to 30.. No plans for celebrating yet, but I'm hoping to have dinner with some friends.

Thats my week.. How have you been?


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review Thursday- A Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray

When Clayton Proffitt, foreman of the Circle Z Ranch in Texas, discovers Vanessa Grant crying in the barn late one night, he first thinks she’s gotten herself into another scrape. But when he spies the marks on her back and hears about her stepfather’s advances, Clayton knows he must spirit Vanessa away to safety.
As they make their way west, it becomes apparent that there’s something special between Vanessa and Clayton— far more significant than mere friendship or his sense of duty. Unfortunately, also heading west are Vanessa’s brother Miles and her stepfather Price Venture. Price wants Vanessa back for obvious reasons; Miles wants to earn his stepfather’s respect. Eventually, unexpected confrontations reach a harrowing conclusion. As their family begins to heal, their journey and trials they've faced helps them realize their future is in God's guiding hands.

Before I get started on the negative I would like to say that I did enjoy the characters in this book. Vanessa, Clayton, Corrine, and Merritt. Even the ones they met on the road. I was glad to see the changes in Miles and Price, of course I did not like! I felt that the characters were very well written and that this book could of been more, if it were not for a few minor things holding it back.

To start I must say that the whole religious aspect of the book was a bit much and made me want to put it down a time or two. It felt very over done to me. Growing up in a very religious household, we did not talk as much about God and the Bible as much as these people did. I felt like I was being preached at through some parts of this book.

I also take issue with the repetitiveness of Clayton and Vanessa's thoughts. It feels as though the author was just trying to meet a page quota and managed to do so by repeating their insecurities in one way or another.

Through out their entire journey west it seemed like all Gray focused on was their insecurities. I get it. They have issues that they need to work on. I just don't need to be told about those problems in every chapter!

Along with the repetitiveness I take issue with the timeline. It seems like it was not thought out very well or was not corrected when edited.

For example, when Clayton and Vanessa arrive at Bar M, Corrine states that she is pregnant and figures she has 6 months left. A few weeks (at most) later and she is giving birth to a healthy baby boy. That puts her at 4 months and no way would that baby would be healthy!

When Clayton Leaves Vanessa at Bar M it is unclear, to me, how long he was really gone for. Gray writes that it was just over 2 months a few times, but on a letter from Vanessa she says its Christmas time and then in her telegram to Clayton it is August. That's more than 2 months. When they are back together again Vanessa also claims that it has been only 6 months since leaving Circle Z, but then a few pages later states that it had been a long 18 months since everything happened. So which is it? How long was Clayton really gone for?

Over all I did really love the characters and how well they worked with each other. I think this book could of been better if the author took the time to pay attention to her time line.

My rating: 2/5 stars
Pub Date: 10/01/11

Thank you to netGalley for the chance to read and review this book.