A Casual Review

As promised, I will be doing a little review on JK Rowlings new book A Casual Vacancy.
If you are a Potter Fan, let me tell you now: the wizards never show up. I was crossing my fingers for a cold breeze of Dementors, an unexplained owl, maybe even a passerby in a strange robe. Don't hold your breath, this lot is just a bunch of muggles.

In the first 50 or so pages, you have a pretty good idea of what the main thread of the story is going to cover; in the lovely village of Pagford a man on the town council dies just before an important vote. As the opposing parties are scramble to find someone to fill the spot, ugly secrets bubble to the surface and burst over the unsuspecting citizens. So 50 pages in, your pretty much saying to yourself:
1. How does this go on for 450 more pages?
2. I already deal with enough politics on Facebook.
3. I need an English slang dictionary.

To be honest, I don't think most of you would like this book. I wouldn't recommend it to a stranger. But I am so glad I read it. Once you let go of your preconceived notions of what this book should be, it's beautiful in its tangled simplicity. This is a story about a group of average people. No one is the hero, the admirable characters have vices and the demons have redeeming qualities (except Simon, we can all hate Simon). It's tragic and triumphant and messy and cleansing, a microcosm of the things we hide beneath our perfectly crafted lives. JK lived up to my expectations of intricate character sculpting, and surpassed them with a flawless passing narrative that shows a singular dedication to her craft. This is Rowling material, but if you are looking for Hogwarts Returns, this not the place to find it.

*I should add that JKs dip into adult literature was very adult. (Mom, I promise I closed my eyes through the bad parts.)

Just in case you were wondering, I did create a small key:
ring off = hang up
pet hates = pet peeves
surgery = doctors office
roaches = roll up cigarettes
nibbles = finger food
lezzer = lesbian
redundant = fired
theater = surgery
And "Arf" is an appropriate nickname for "Arthur" because the Brits in Pagford would pronounce it "Arfer."

UPDATE: I just listened to a BBC interview with Rowling where she says she has two more children's books already developed! The tease.


Be my Blog Friend?

So I did a mini blog makeover! There are some new tabs at the top that you might find fun to peruse, but most importantly, I finally added a "Join this Site" button. So if you want, you can delight my ego and follow me! I am always looking for new blogs to read so there is a 100% chance I'll follow you back. Unless you're a cat person.



I completed my Menu Board!
And I made it a little friend:
Painting chevron is NOT as bad as I thought it would be... unless, like me, you do it once, and hate the colors you picked and have to start over:
Breck still says it looks like a giant easter egg.

Anyway... I joined a book club!
I'm the only person there that is younger than 40, makes less than $100,000 a year, and isn't blatantly racist, but it makes for awesome politically incorrect entertainment. Like this little nugget: "Her name is Dantavious. I don't even need to open my eyes to know what color she is."

Breaking news! My husband just make me this:
Obviously, inhaling this as quickly as possible is much more important than anything in the world.



Kitchen Makeover

It was one of those mornings. I swear I dressed in the same clothes, put on the same makeup, did my hair the same way, but it definitely did not turn out the way it is normally does. Am I the only one this happens to? Anyway, I got a bit panicky and then when I saw that the little baby panda from the National Zoo died today, I climbed back into bed and declared it was a national day of mourning.

I really am sad about the panda. I tried to find a picture to go with this, but when you type "baby panda" into Google, it's really hard to tell which ones are stuffed animals and which ones are real. That cute.

On to the fun stuff! Breck and I are redoing our kitchen decor! And that means projects for me!

My new menu chalkboard was inspired by these wonderful things I found/fell in love with from Anthro:

I tried to take step-by-step pictures but I kept on getting excited and forgetting to stop so...
They were all out of chalk at Hobby Lobby so I haven't been able to use it yet, but I'll update in a few days when I finish my giant chevron clock!


Survivor Casting Calls

Mini Rant:
Coach purses. How did they become popular? I understand spending money on classic, quality items, but am I the only one that thinks this brown on brown repeating pattern is just about the ugliest thing to become widely excepted?
I know they change the style and colors occasionally, but who was the first person that said, "OMG! I totally need this brown C all over this lumpy bag! I'm going to pay my college tuition to buy it and so should you!" I hate that person, whoever it is.

Yesterday I checked quite the doozy of my life-long bucket list. I applied for SURVIVOR!
If you didn't know... I'm a HUGE Survivor fan. As in I haven't missed an episode since the 4th grade. That right there is Harry Potter level dedication. I've filled out the application a couple of times before, but I've never been in a place where I could drop off the face of the planet for a month. Now that I'm married and it's football season... no one will notice :)

After a four hour road trip to Oklahoma, a friend and I pulled into the magnificent pile of dirt that is Hinton, OK. The Casting Call for the show was to take place in "Sugar Creek Casino" so I was expecting you know, lights, or... a casino. It was kind of like that, but in a "I just upgraded from living in a trailer" sort of way.

Anyways, if you ignored the smoke and the hoards of drunk people, it was a fabulous crowd! About 200 people (of ALL sorts) showed up for the interview. We stood behind this AWESOME survival buff who spent a good ten minutes teaching us how to catch fish using a stick.

We waited in line for about an hour, exchanging snippets of information and strategy with the people around us, signed a couple of waivers and got a number. Obviously, I was lucky 100. Based on your number, they called you into a back room where you stood in front of blinding lights and a camera, and had 60 seconds to explain why you would be a good candidate for the show.

My 60 seconds were kind of a blur. I started well and ended strong, but there might of been some crazy eyes and strange gestures in the middle part: If they like it, perfect, I'll take the million dollars. If not, I'm happy I went! You won't score unless you take the shot, right? And maybe the crazy lady with no teeth will get on the show and I'll be able to say that I complimented her hat in casting. Win, win.


My Man's Mistress

I have a very interesting visitor in my home. I knew when she was coming, and how long she would stay... but I didn't quite understand how exhausting her company would be. She ALWAYS wants attention... Monday Night, Thursday Night, Friday Night and ALL day Saturday and Sunday!
Yes, Football has returned. Now you might be thinking, "What? Football is the full package! How can you not like her!??!" It's not that I don't! I just can only take her in small doses. Like babies.

It's only been a couple of weeks, but I've already burned through 3 more shows on my blessed Netflix subscription. It's time for a new hobby while she continues her visit. That is why I've decided to open an online Etsy shop. Etsy is a place where people actually do the things you see on Pinterest and sell the stuff they make. The question I have for you is what should I create an inventory of?

I could do something with my photoshop/design background, like this art print:
or invitations:

I could do something with my handwriting, like calligraphy:
or favors:

I could do something a little more crafty for the home, wreaths:
maps/wall art:
or knickknacks:

I could do party/wedding decor:

And of course, I can do custom shoes:

PLEASE HELP! I know I want to concentrate on just one or two things, but what? Opinions?

P.S. I should probably mention that besides the shoes, these pictures are not mine! I've done variations on all of these products for my own home/wedding but my camera doesn't have that kind of quality.


Happy Joy

Hey there superstars! I am in an awesome mood today! I think from here on out, every couple of weeks I am going to do a little list of things that are just delightful and make me happy. Let's start with...

1. My precious baby nieces!
Now, I am pretty horrible with kids. Once, a guy at work brought his newborn into the office and tried to get me to hold her. I was so frightened that I started crying. Yeah, NOT good. But these little ones are some of the few that tolerate me. And that is a happy thing.

2. These pictures:

And on a Harry Potter note (which is always bound to make me happy) JK Rowling's new book comes out this month! Yay for a new obsession!

3. I can figure out most things in the kitchen, but I always screw up the meat. Well, I think it tastes fine, but we have a delicate eater in the house. So Breck accepts duty as meat chef. Today I asked him to prepare some chicken so I could make some chicken enchiladas for dinner. He made me this:
That is true love.

4. We went to the zoo this week! Who doesn't love zoo's??! We were just coming out of the koala exhibit when I heard The Flaming Lips start to play (not normal Zoo music.) We followed the music to a little outdoor auditorium where a crowd was growing. A zoo keeper was singing "Do You Realize" to another zoo keeper. And then...
He dropped to a knee and popped the question! When she said yes, about 200 white doves flew in an arc around them (they were bird trainers so I'm not even exagerating that part.) It was the first surprise engagement I've ever seen and I was so excited. But then debbie downer Breck said it was just a publicity stunt for the zoo and they weren't really getting married. But you know what? I posted this picture to instagram and BAM
The guy that proposed found my picture and thanked me!!! Happiness prevails!

5. Last, but not least, my number one favorite show of all time is having Open Casting one week from today a mere 5 hours from my house. It's fate. That's right my friends, I am going to try out for... SURVIVOR!
Yes it is still on TV and yes it really is my favorite show. If you think that is silly and are tempted to rain on my parade, I have one thing to say to you:


Lazy Sunday

Today was a bittersweet day. I woke up and started the get ready process. Teeth, shower, make-up, curlers in, clothes ironed, breakfast... when something miraculous happened. I took my hot rollers out, and my hair was PERFECT. Guys, this means nothing to you. Girls, this was THE day. The BEST hair day of my entire life.

But as I stood, awed that my hair could do such beautiful things, my husband burst through the door, pushed me out of the way and had a little face to face with the toilet.
Yes, my most fabulous hair day has been spent playing nurse. Good thing my patient is my favorite person in the entire world!

In my efforts to make Breck a little more comfortable, I undertook the ultimate "feel good" trifecta. Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. Homemade Noodles. Homemade Rolls. It took forever. But it was sooooo so so worth it.

If you want the step by step (which you should) I stole the recipe from the Pioneer Woman here. If you haven't heard of her... jump on the taste bud bandwagon tonight! She is wonderful.

As a side note. My newest addiction that I wish to infect you with is The West Wing. It's an older series, but every episode is overwhelmingly powerful. Definitely worthy of your next TV series binge!

Oh and I read this book:
I give it a full five dimples... ergo you should read it too.

***There you go Ginnie! I hope it makes you do this: