Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Z


Today is the last day of the Challenge, Yay!  Congratulations to everyone who made it through.  I am really excited to have made it to the end and look forward to next year.  I already have ideas for next years theme.

Zenith
Definition: the point above the observer that is directly opposite the nadir on the imaginary sphere against which celestial bodies appear to be projected.
Sentence: Zenith, the point in the celestial sphere directly overhead.
            — Henry White Warren

Zephyr
Definition: a slight wind (usually refreshing).
Sentence: Nor I. On the contrary, all the allusions to the winds are of the gentler kind,—"balmy Zephyrs," "whispering breezes" and so forth. 
            — Alexander Pope

Zealous
Definition: marked by active interest and enthusiasm.
Sentence: "You are so willing and zealous; but for that very reason I must guard against your enthusiasm carrying you too far."
            — Lucy Foster Madison

Zest
Definition: vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment.
Sentence: So I pursued my studies with zest and unabated enthusiasm. 
— Geraldine Farrar

Zealot
Definition: a fervent and even militant proponent of something.
Sentence: Finally having conquered his irritable bowel syndrome, he worked out like a zealot all winter, adding about 17 pounds of solid muscle. 
           — Seattle Times (Feb 29, 2012)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Y



Yahoo
Definition: a person who is not very intelligent or interested in culture.
Sentence: What I wanted to bring to your distinguished notice is this—that you must not behave like a yahoo in my mathematical set. 
           —Ian Hay

Yeoman
Definition: in former times was free and cultivated his own land.
Sentence: On one extreme was the well-to-do yeoman farmer farming his own land.
            — S. A. Reilly

Yokel
Definition: a person who is not very intelligent or interested in culture.
Sentence: Now, poor people, yokels, clods, cannot love what is incomprehensible to them.
            — George Meredith

Yore
Definition: time long past.
Sentence: Yore, long ago; generally used in the expression "of yore," formerly, once upon a time.
            — Winifred Turner

Yelp
Definition: a sharp high-pitched cry (especially by a dog).
Sentence: While faintly heard from somewhere outside there was the yelping, barking, howling whine of a dog.
— George Manville Fenn

I admit I did know some of these but it starts getting hard at the end of the alphabet.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Champagne and Lemon Drops Review


Champagne and Lemon Drops Blurb:

One woman. Two men. One meddling small town.

Raised by her older sister in the small town of Blueberry Springs, all Beth Wilkinson wants is to create a family so big she’ll never be alone. Things are going great until her accountant fiancé, Oz, experiences a family trauma, forcing him to rethink everything from his own career to their nuptial plans—leaving Beth alone.

As Beth works to rediscover her former bold and independent self in hopes of reattracting Oz, she catches the eye of the charming new city doctor, Nash. Not only does he see her as she’d like to be seen, but he knows exactly what he wants from life—and that includes Beth.

Torn between the two men, as well as two versions of herself, Beth discovers that love and dreams are much more complicated than they seem.

Review:

I have fallen in love with the town of Blueberry Springs, it's just such a magical little place.  It's the kind of place you can imagine want to live, raise a family, have a dog and get to know your neighbours.

Beth is a great well rounded character who goes through a lot of growth throughout the book which makes for great reading.  Plus the secondary characters are all pretty developed which bodes well for the rest of the series which I look forward to reading.

Champagne and Lemon Drops can be found on Amazon.


A to Z Challenge: W


Waggish
Definition: witty or joking.
Sentence: Dinner, however, came, and the little waggish doctor could not, for the life of him, avoid his jokes.
            — William Carleton

Waif
Definition: a homeless child especially one forsaken or orphaned.
Sentence: Had they not been poor children, little waifs, they would not have been locked in the cabin to perish like rats. 
            — Eugene V. Debs

Wan
Definition: lacking vitality as from weariness or illness or unhappiness.
Sentence: Tom was leaning back, pale and exhausted, his breath was short, his face gray, wan and wasted. 
           —Mrs. Henry Wood

Wane
Definition: a gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number).
Sentence: India’s biggest producer, reported an 89 percent decline in second-quarter group profit because of waning demand and higher raw material costs at its European operations. 
           — Business Week (Nov 10, 2011)

Welter
Definition: a confused multitude of things.
Sentence: Of the nonseafood starters, artichoke hearts were slightly lost in a welter of cherry peppers, cubed eggplant, pine nuts and bits of chèvre.
            — New York Times (Apr 7, 2012)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A to Z Challenge: V



Now on to today's actual post.

Vacillate
Definition: be undecided about something; waver between conflicting positions or courses of action.
Sentence: But the old Napoleon was no more; vacillating almost as if in partial catalepsy, murmuring empty phrases in quick, indistinct utterance, he refused to decide.
            — William Milligan Sloane

Vacuous
Definition: devoid of intelligence.
Sentence: Why had his brain and senses lain fallow all these months, a vacuous vegetation, an empty consciousness? 
           — Gilbert Parker

Veracity
Definition: unwillingness to tell lies.
Sentence: Professionally speaking, lawyers have been called legal liars, but compared to stock manipulators they are walking examples of truth and veracity. 
           — Charles Clark Munn

Verisimilitude
Definition: the appearance of truth; the quality of seeming to be true.
Sentence: It has every appearance of verisimilitude: you truly believe this woman exists and has been filmed at all these various stages of her life.
           — The Guardian (Apr 26, 2010)

Vicissitude
Definition: a variation in circumstances or fortune at different times in your life or in the development of something.
Sentence: Charles Macy.—An orphan at thirteen years of age, Mr. Macy's early life was full of changes, adventures and vicissitudes. 
— William Henry Carman Folsom

A to Z Challenge: U


This post comes a day late as I was super sick yesterday, nasty migraine. :(

Ubiquitous
Definition: being present everywhere at once.
Sentence: In the run-up to the launch, Morgan has been ubiquitous, popping up all over the place to promote the show. 
           — The Guardian (Jan 7, 2011)

Umbrage
Definition: a feeling of anger caused by being offended.
Sentence: Such men are easily offended, take umbrage at trifles, and are unforgiving in their resentments.
            — John Sherburne Sleeper

Unction
Definition: anointing as part of a religious ceremony or healing ritual.
Sentence: Afterward he administers the sacrament of Extreme Unction—last anointing. 
            — John James Burke

Unctuous
Definition: unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech.
Sentence: He had become suave and unctuous, a kind of elephantine irony pervading his laborious attempts at conciliation. 
             —  Emmuska Orczy, Baroness

Unguent
Definition: semisolid preparation (usually containing a medicine) applied externally as a remedy or for soothing an irritation.
Sentence: Medicated unguents, applied to the skin, containing mercury, iodine, and other substances, are not known to be followed by any better results. 
            — Various

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A to Z Challenge: T


Tangential
Definition: of superficial relevance if any.
Sentence: It is terrific fun, but its relation to the theme remains tangential at best. 
            — The Guardian (Aug 26, 2011)

Tautological
Definition: repetition of same sense in different words.
Sentence: The expression sounds trite and tautological; but it needs emphasis.
            — Various

Tessellated
Definition: decorated with small pieces of colored glass or stone fitted together in a mosaic.
Sentence: Passing from one pavilion to another over tessellated pavements, we enter apartments rich in mosaics and all manner of precious stones. 
            — Henry Martyn Field

Theocracy
Definition: a political unit governed by a deity (or by officials thought to be divinely guided).
Sentence: For in theocracies, to the social evil of the offence is added the impiety committed against the Deity and his representative on earth. 
           — Albert Roville, Albert

Torpid
Definition: slow and apathetic.
Sentence: His energies are suspended, his senses become numbed and torpid—in short, he feels as one who goes to sleep in a snow-storm. 
          — Mayne Reid

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Throw An Avengers Themed Party

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Next month is the launch of Toronto Chapter of Geek Girl Brunch.  Our launch theme is Avengers and we are pretty darn excited. I am extra excited because I am borrowing a Cosplay from Mike to dress up but that is a whole different blog post.  

We have been looking for stuff to make the swag bags for our first official brunch extra awesome and some of this stuff falls right in line.  Who doesn't need Avengers Pez dispensers?  Am I right?  Stay tuned for more about Geek Girl Brunch and what my fellow Toronto/Niagara Region Officers and I have in store.  If you are in the area be sure to join us.

avengers age of ultron birthday party supplies

Pull together a fun-filled, adventurous birthday party with the best team around - the Avengers! With the Avengers Age of Ultron movie in theaters starting May 1st, you're little superhero will be super excited to celebrate with their favorite character! 

Avengers Party Supplies - The first superhero strategy for throwing a party your child will "Marvel" at is to make sure you have all the important birthday supplies on hand. The Avengers Assemble Value Party Pack from Birthday Express has got you covered. It includes everything you need, including cups, plates, birthday invitations and more. Your child will be thrilled to see all of the Avengers — including Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Hawkeye — on these awesome supplies at their celebration. 

Avengers Decorations - What better way to unite the whole team than by giving each guest their own Avengers Masks? Add some red, white, and blue balloons, ceiling streamers, and the Avangers Assemble Wall Decorating Kit and your superheros will feel right at home.

Avengers Games & Favors - What's a party without games?! Pick up the Avengers Assemble Party Game. Instead of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it's stick the Arc Reactor to Iron Man's chest! Whoever gets closest could win a The Avengers PEZ Dispenser And don't forget the party favors! Birthday Express has everything a budding superhero would need, including Avengers Assemble Tattoos, paper masks, erasers, and bracelets! 

Top the party off by dressing the guest of honor as their favorite Avengers hero. Birthday Express has a full assortment of Avengers costumes for toddlers, kids, and even adults!


Avengers Assemble Value Party Pack

The Avengers PEZ Dispenser

Avengers Assemble Party Game


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A to Z Challenge: S



Salubrious
Definition: promoting health; healthful.
Sentence: The air is extremely salubrious, and the place has long been remarkable for its freedom from epidemics.
           — J. H. Holdsworth

Scion
Definition: a descendant or heir.
Sentence: Mr. Papandreou, a political scion whose father and grandfather were also prime ministers, took office late last year.
          — New York Times (Feb 7, 2010)

Seditious
Definition: in opposition to a civil authority or government.
Sentence: If stones were thrown at the police and seditious cries were raised, it was no more than might be reasonably expected.
         — James Anthony Froude

Serendipity
Definition: good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries.
Sentence: Serendipity is a recurring theme in Chandler's biography, with one happy accident after another pushing him in a certain direction. 
         — The Guardian (Jul 11, 2011)

Sibylline
Definition: resembling or characteristic of a prophet or prophecy.
Sentence: Their Sibylline books have prophesied the fall of Rome, though they use the name 'Babylon.' 
           — August Strindberg

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Love Life Review


Lexi Middleton has been socially invisible to her classmates, but starting her junior year, that’s going to change. First, she’s determined to hook a boyfriend, ensuring dates with flowers and possible kisses on the doorstep. Second, she wants to be a writer for the school paper, even though it freaks her out to think of everyone judging her by her punctuation and metaphors.

High school is difficult enough—keeping up her grades, dealing with increasing sibling rivalry, and trying to stay out of the way of her personal nemesis, Amberlee—but when Lexi catches the eye of her long-time crush, she also becomes the focus of mean-girl tactics.

Caught between who she was and who she wants to be, Lexi must decide how to confront a bully, and choose who to let into her heart.

This was the second book I read by the mother/daughter writing team that is Jo Noelle, the first, Newbie I enjoyed immensely.

Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Life was just as enjoyable but in a different way.  My favourite thing about it is the story within the story and how Lexi grows as a writer as her character grows as a person.  It's pretty fantastic story-telling.

I also enjoyed how realistic Lexi's relationship with her sister is, it reminded me of my own relationship with my sister.  It was a great was a great read all around.

A to Z Challenge: R


Raconteur
Definition: a person skilled in telling anecdotes.
Sentence: He was an excellent raconteur, and his stories had a stamp of their own which would have made them always and everywhere acceptable.
                 — Leonard Huxley

Recalcitrant
Definition: stubbornly resistant to authority or control.
Sentence: The officials of the state banks especially proved recalcitrant and refused to surrender Government moneys. 
              — Various

Recondite
Definition: difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge.
Sentence: On both sides of Lamb, however, there lie literatures more difficult, more recondite.
               —Arnold Bennett

Rectitude
Definition: righteousness as a consequence of being honorable and honest.
Sentence: You must be morally upright and of steadfast rectitude. 
              — The Guardian (Jan 9, 2011)

Reminiscent
Definition: serving to bring to mind.
Sentence: Major deals were completed in Turkey last year and new funds are emerging on a scale reminiscent of the boom times of 2007. 
             — New York Times (Mar 14, 2012)

Monday, April 20, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Q


For me Q is always one of the hardest letters, what about you guys?

Quash
Definition: put down by force or intimidation.
Sentence: More than 500 people are thought to have been killed since mid-March as the security forces try to quash dissent. 
            — BBC (May 7, 2011)

Quiescent
Definition: being quiet or still or inactive.
Sentence: Under normal conditions, only a fraction of these blood-forming stem cells are active; the rest are deeply quiescent – asleep. 
              — The Guardian (Jan 17, 2011)

Quintessence
Definition: the most typical example or representative of a type.
Sentence: This composition, in many ways the most wonderful single piece we have from Chopin, is the quintessence of his genius.
                — Walter Raymond Spalding

Quisling
Definition: someone who collaborates with an enemy occupying force.
Sentence: Naturally enough, the attitude taken up by the Christians earned them fresh attacks from the Quisling followers. 
               — Johan Martinus Snoek

Quixotic
Definition: not sensible about practical matters; idealistic and unrealistic.
Sentence: Granted, Latin American integration is an elusive if not quixotic goal: the region stretches farther than Africa, and its nations' interests are just as balkanized.
                  — Time (Dec 4, 2011)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A to Z Challenge: P

I feel really great about having made it this far this year.

Panacea
Definition: hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases; once sought by the alchemists.
Sentence: The city fathers speak of binglang as if it were a panacea for all of Xiangtan’s ills, from curing tapeworm to solving unemployment. 
                    — New York Times (Aug 20, 2010)

Parsimonious
Definition: excessively unwilling to spend.
Sentence: In allusion to greedy, parsimonious people, who would rather be put to a great deal of trouble than incur a trifling expense. 
                 — Alexander Hislop

Pedagogy
Definition: the principles and methods of instruction.
Sentence: What type of pedagogy, or teaching method, makes me thrive? 
                 — New York Times (Jan 13, 2011)

Perfidious
Definition: tending to betray; especially having a treacherous character as attributed to the Carthaginians by the Romans.
Sentence: Any one who studied her treacherous and perfidious countenance would detect therein craft and cruelty. 
              — Eugène Sue

Pusillanimous
Definition: lacking in courage and manly strength and resolution; contemptibly fearful.
Sentence: The public is pusillanimous and cowardly, because it is weak. 
             — Ernest Rhys

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sweet Chalkboard Party Supplies

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links



Sweeten up the celebration with the new Birthday Sweets party theme from BirthdayExpress.com! This chalkboard-inspired theme features a black background with "Birthday Girl" written on it in white and pink. Birthday Express has all the party goodies you'll need to fit any size party and budget to make your chic little girl's day super special. 

Birthday Sweets Party Supplies - Try Birthday Express' brand-new Birthday Girl Sweets Value Party Pack. It has everything you need including polka-dot invitations and candy stripe candles, to pink crepe paper. Or you might feel like creating more of a customized, one-of-a-kind celebration with chalkboard placemats and the David Tutera Chalkboard Party Design Kit (326 pieces)

Birthday Sweets Chalkboard Decor - Chalk it up to girls just wanting to have fun! The Birthday Sweets party theme includes black chalkboard sheets in a variety of sizes that you can decorate with chalk (not included), or make permanent with chalkboard markers (sold separately). And don't forget the sweet hanging swirl decorations,Chalkboard Drink Labels (13), Birthday Sweets flag banner, and colorful balloons! 

Birthday Sweets Party Favors - What's sweet birthday girl would do without party favors? The Birthday Sweets party theme includes cute pint size favor pails, favor boxes, or personalized treat bags that you could fill with sweets (of course!), pink nail polish, party straws, chalk, and silly Chalkboard Photo Booth Props (10) for endless fun!

When you're planning your sweetie's next birthday party, head over to BirthdayExpress.com and pick up all of theBirthday Sweets Party Supplies you need for her special day!


Chalkboard Drink Labels (13)

Chalkboard Photo Booth Props (10)


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A to Z Challenge: O



Obdurate
Definition: showing unfeeling resistance to tender feelings.
Sentence: Mr. Oldstone, in particular, exhausted all his powers of persuasion to yet delay his departure, but he found him obdurate. 
     — M. Y. Halidom (pseud. Dryasdust)

Obfuscate
Definition: make obscure or unclear.
Sentence: Yet as we tried to understand, there always seemed to be an obfuscating layer: something or someone was working against comprehension. 
                  — Time (Dec 11, 2010)

Obloquy
Definition: state of disgrace resulting from public abuse.
Sentence: Thus public men are content to leave their reputation to posterity; great reactions take place in opinion; nay, sometimes men outlive opposition and obloquy. 
          — John Henry Cardinal Newman

Oligarchy
Definition: a political system governed by a few people.
Sentence: The track management of this particular university was an oligarchy; was governed by a few absolute individuals. 
           — J. N. Marchand

Orthogonal
Definition: having a set of mutually perpendicular axes; meeting at right angles.
Sentences: His love of the orthogonal, which like 1980s dance moves once verged on the robotic, is relaxing into less pure angles. 
          — The Guardian (Sep 19, 2010)

As a side note, my fiance has taken it upon himself to help me learn new words as well.  He has texted me or sent me Facebook messages with random words and links to their meanings.  I would just like to say that this is not always helpful.  I like to learn but what people think you would be interested in knowing is not always true.

Have a great day guys.

Celebrate The Small Things: April 17, 2015



Celebrate the Small Things is hosted by Lexa Cain along with wonderful co- hosts Writing Off The Edge and The Cyborg Mom.

Wow, I haven't been here in ages!  Seems like with all the sick and life in general I haven't felt like there was much to celebrate but you know I have found it this week.  The kids and I made a lasagna for the first time on Wednesday afternoon and it was fantastic!  Ace ate half a pan of it.  The joys of having a pre-teen boy in the house.

I started 5k training this week as well, it's my goal to be able to run a 5k by the end of the summer.  If you are laughing now then that means you know me.  But I am serious about this, once the A to Z Challenge is over I am going to start keeping you guys posted about how it is going.  I assure you so far it's been pretty hilarious.  

Lot's of fun and exciting stuff coming up though so keep an eye on this spot.  I am back in full force. 

This is a blog hop, go check out what everyone else is celebrating.




Thursday, April 16, 2015

A to Z Challenge: N




Nascent
Definition: being born or beginning.
Sentence: The initiative also invests in nascent solar companies, acting as an incubator for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to bring disruptive new technologies to market. 
           — Scientific American (Feb 29, 2012)

Nebulous
Definition: lacking definite form or limits.
Sentence: “The time for nebulous, unspecified and non-detailed commitments is gone,” Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said yesterday in London. 
             — BusinessWeek (Sep 21, 2011)

Neologism
Definition: a newly invented word or phrase.
Sentence: Perhaps the solution is to be found in " neologisms", where words are taken from somewhere totally different and given an entirely new meaning.
                     — BBC (Mar 8, 2011)

Nihilism
Definition: the delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist; a sense that everything is unreal.
Sentence: In her despair she succumbed to a sort of nihilism that made her ask: “What is the reason of anything?...
           —  Louis Couperus

Nomenclature
Definition: a system of words used to name things in a particular discipline.
Sentence: Technical names of fishes are those that seem to qualify under the International Rules of Zoological Nomenclature. 
           — Deacon, James Everett

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A to Z Challenge: M



Myropolist 
Definition: a perfume dealer.
Sentence: I bought my favourite perfume from the myropolist down the street.

Machination
Definition: a crafty and involved plot to achieve your (usually sinister) ends.
Sentence: With life experiences like those behind her, the extreme plot machinations of Hollywood melodrama must have possessed an everyday familiarity for Stanwyck. 
             — New York Times (Apr 24, 2010)

Magniloquent
Definition: lofty in style.
Sentence: The day was spent in magniloquent addresses, which affected the style of ancient types, urgent exhortations to war, poetical orations, rounds of applause, rapturous demonstrations. 
            — Æneas MacDonell Dawson

Malapropism
Definition: the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar.
Sentence: New words are eagerly seized; hence the malapropisms and solecisms so frequently made fun of, without appreciation of their cause.
             —  Stephen Sydney Reynolds

Mawkish
Definition: effusively or insincerely emotional.
Sentence: Herself full of mawkish sentimentality, her verses could not fail to be foolish, their whole impulse being the ambition that springs from self-admiration.
                — George MacDonald

I particularly like malapropism given my theme this year.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Witchcraft Couture Review


Oscar Pellegrini is a talented fashion designer with a deadly enemy: his own critical mind. He destroys much of what he designs and has been drifting for years, gradually retreating from the fashion business he loves but holding on to his dreams of success. 

A chance meeting with a former girlfriend triggers a creative crisis so deep that Oscar escapes to Russia, where he drinks and despairs like never before. Just when he thinks he has lost everything he discovers a magical machine that turns ordinary outfits into irresistible sartorial triumphs. Oscar takes the machine back to Italy – and before he knows it, he has become famous for his designs, and celebrities and socialites are fighting to be first to wear his gorgeous garments. 

But the happily-ever-after ending for the fashion messiah turns into a nightmare when his dresses acquire a life of their own, gaining energy and evil as time goes on. Haunted by his creations, a dark secret he is no longer able to hide, Oscar finds himself fighting for his life and sanity, and searching for the answer to a question he never knew existed. 

Is there such a thing as stolen genius, and if there is, can it turn against the very person who stole it?

Review:

When I first starting reading Witchcraft Couture I was a little skeptical, a fantasy book about high fashion?  How was that even going to work?  West made it work perfect though, she drew me in so fast that I loathe to stop reading for silly things like eating or sleep.

I love stories that feel like they have a life of their own, like they need to be shared and Oscar's story is one of those stories.

A to Z Challenge: L


Latifundium 
Definition: a large country estate
Sentence: They decided that Aunt May's latifundium in England would be the perfect place for their wedding.

Labile 
Definition: open to change;  apt or likely to change; adaptable
Sentence: The couple was very labile to their new surroundings.

Lachrymose
Definition: showing sorrow.
Sentence: She had got rid of her tears before she came down to dinner, but still she was melancholy and almost lachrymose. 

        — Anthony Trollope

Lassitude
Definition: weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy.
Sentence: He told by her very attitude that now there was lassitude, even weariness in her.
           — Algernon Blackwood

Legerdemain
Definition: an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers.
Sentence: Everything short of this is trick, legerdemain, sleight of hand.
           —  Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Monday, April 13, 2015

A to Z Challenge: K



Knotty
Definition: highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious.
Sentence: I am, at this present writing, perplexed and plagued with two knotty problems in politics.
              — Abigail Adams

Ken
Definition: range of what one can know or understand.
Sentence: Ah, but the Eyes Divine look long and see far; things beyond the human ken are all revealed. 
              — Cyrus Townsend Brady

Knell
Definition: the sound of a bell rung slowly to announce a death or a funeral or the end of something.
Sentence: "If she dies," he had said, and the words rang in my ears like a funeral knell.
         — Guy Boothby

Knoll
Definition: a small natural hill.
Sentence: At the very base of the hill or knoll alluded to, they halted.
                — Edward Sylvester Ellis

Knave
Definition: a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel.
Sentence: The merchant subsequently turned out a very great knave, cheating Tom on various occasions, and finally broke, very much in his debt.
            — George Henry Borrow

Wishing On Baby Dust Review


Wishing on Baby Dust

Infertility stinks. No one knows that better than Megan. After six years of insanity-inducing hormone drugs and desperate prayers, all she has to show for her efforts are enough negative pregnancy tests to fill a bassinet. All around her women are accidentally getting pregnant—like her star piano student—while Megan remains hopelessly barren. Megan’s never felt so alone. But she’s not the only one struggling.

Christina has just entered the world of infertility, made worse by the fact her husband isn’t ready to be a father. Their marriage, already hanging in the balance, is being torn apart.

Then there’s Kyra, the mother of a precocious three-year-old. She’s shocked to be struggling with secondary infertility. A baby is priceless, but sometimes Kyra feels like she’s being forced to choose which commandment to keep: stay out of debt, or multiply and replenish the earth.

When Megan and Christina are assigned as Kyra’s visiting teachers, they all realize that what you see isn’t necessarily what’s beneath the surface. Some secrets aren’t worth the cost of keeping them.

Review:

I felt sad for a lot of this book. Infertility is a difficult issue and difficulty with getting pregnant again after having a child already is a familiar one for me.

This was a very well written book, light hearted where it needed to be and touching on all sorts of different information.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Personalized Birthday Party Themes

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

With Cat's sixth birthday fast approaching I spend a lot of time thinking about what to do for little Miss Diva.  Last year we went all out renting a room and inviting the whole class, planning great craft activities and face painting.  Only a handful of kids showed up and I still have a stock pile of foam domino masks and various other craft supplies.

This year we are planning something a lot smaller but I still want to make it super special for her,

It's one thing to throw a birthday party, but it's another to throw a completely personalized birthday party that your kiddo will remember for years to come. How to do it? With personalized birthday party supplies from Birthday Express, of course! They make customizing your designs and party supplies simple, so there's more time to party! Here's how easy it is:
  1. After you've found the party theme you want, click the "Personalize Image" and "Personalize Text" buttons to get started.
  2. Next, upload a photo of your child from your computer. You can even link to your Facebook or Instagram profile to grab photos!
  3. Then, effortlessly change your photo's size, location, and rotation.
  4. You can also finish things off with your own custom text - choosing from your favorite font, color, and size.
personalized party supplies at birthday express

Personalized Party Supplies - Choose from hundreds of kids' favorite birthday themes - from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superhero Comics, and Secret Agent, to Ladybugs, Dora the Explorer, Mermaids, and more! Personalized images can be uploaded into invitations, tableware, centerpieces, banners, favor boxes... anything and everything one would need for a personalized birthday party theme. You can also combine personalized party supplies, such as plates, with other party supplies, like Disney Princesses or superhero party supplies. Birthday Express even has customizable birthday party supply packs for baby's 1st birthday, girls parties, and boys parties. Each pre-designed box comes with complete party essentials for a group of 8 to 16.

Personalized Banners - What's a personalized birthday party without a colorful and customized birthday banner?! You can make any birthday unique by creating a banner with a special message for the birthday child, then picking the font and font color your message will appear in. Once you’re done, you can even preview your design to make sure it looks exactly how you want before you order it. Birthday Express' personalized birthday banners are made of heavy duty vinyl so they are durable enough to withstand serious kids-play and all types of weather. Banners also feature metal grommets for easy hanging indoors and out and come in a variety of themes and sizes. 

personalized party supplies at birthday express

Personalized Party Favors - What's a party without party favors? Simply select the box that matches your theme, add your favorite photo, and an original message. Then, fill the personalized party favor boxes with goodies for a truly personalized box of treats! For example, you could fill a favor box for a girls party with chap sticks, mini nail polishes, gum, nail files, and mini lotions, etc..

It's never been easier to create a customized birthday party for your child. The only hard part will be picking the personalized party supplies from Birthday Express that your child will love the most! 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A to Z Challenge: J



Finding words that began with J was a little harder than I thought it would be.

Jejune
Definition: lacking interest or significance or impact.
Sentence: The works called good are dry and jejune, soon consummated, often of questionable value, and leaving behind them when finished a sense of vacuity. 
            — Richard Jefferies

Jingoist
Definition: an extreme bellicose nationalist.
Sentence: And, hell, I'm no jingoist, but surely we can do better in this country than importing our drugs from Mexico, right?
              — Salon (May 25, 2010)

Juggernaut
Definition: a massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way.
Sentence: Welch transformed GE into a sleek juggernaut that dominated market segments from jet engines and locomotives to finance. 
          — Washington Post (Aug 1, 2010)

Junta
Definition: a group of military officers who rule a country after seizing power.
Sentence: The stock soared 10.2% in London after Mali's military junta agreed to reinstate the country's constitution following last month's coup. 
                  — Wall Street Journal (Apr 10, 2012)

Junket
Definition: a trip taken by an official at public expense.
Sentence: Mr. Abramoff arranged for junkets, including foreign golfing destinations, for the members of Congress he was trying to influence.
                   — New York Times (Feb 27, 2010)

Okay, that last one I sort of knew.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A To Z Challenge: I



Ineluctable
Definition: impossible to avoid or evade: inevitable
Sentence: Bumping into Karen at the market was ineluctable.

Inchoate 
Definition: 1. to be in an initial or early stage; just begun; 2. imperfectly formed or formulated
Sentence: The captain's orders were an inchoate series of words that left everyone confused.

Iconoclast
Definition: someone who attacks cherished ideas or traditional institutions.
Sentence: Jobs is a classic iconoclast, one who aggressively seeks out, attacks, and overthrows conventional ideas. 

                      — Business Week (Oct 12, 2010)

Impecunious
Definition: not having enough money to pay for necessities.
Sentence: It had been quite in keeping with his ideas that the Thornes should taste the bitters of poverty, and know what being impecunious really meant. 
             — George Manville Fenn

Inchoate
Definition: only partly in existence; imperfectly formed.
Sentence: “But when the law is unsettled, inchoate, undeveloped, let’s say, it’s natural that judges’ political, social and economic views will shape how they see things.” 
         — New York Times (Dec 16, 2010)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

There's An App For Love Review




Can you ever find real love in a virtual world? 

Liam Connor, the world’s most famous *** guru, is asked to write a book on Flame, a dating app that’s a lot like Tinder. Liam’s surprised at his publisher’s request. He knows a lot about ***. But he’s been a failure at both love and marriage. Certain he’ll never find true love, he signs up for Flame, only to see his world turned upside down… 

Liz Andrews is a curvy, beautiful and intelligent technology executive, who’s moving to Singapore to head up sales for all of Asia. She’s not even thinking of dating -- until her friend convinces her to have one last fling in New York…through Flame. 

Sparks fly as soon as Liz and Liam meet and their passion knows no boundaries. Liam realizes that Liz is the true love he has been waiting for all his life. But Liz is hurting from a prior relationship. She needs time to build trust. But with only three days before she leaves New York, is there enough time for both of them? 

As Liam and Liz find out, going from “Like” to “Love” is more than just hard…it’s nearly impossible.

Review:

It seems like I have read a lot of books with the name Liam in them lately, it must have hit a popularity spike.  The first thing I have to say, sort of as a side note, is that I know very little about dating types apps.  I actually had them explained to me one night by my fiance while we were out on one of our meanders of the city.  Given how long we have been together it was quite the INTERESTING conversation.

Anyway, back to the book, it was an interesting concept which made for an engaging read.  Not really my sort of thing as I but I did enjoy it.  I guess the times are changing and books need to be written about what is going on in society.  This does achieve that purpose.

I recommend it. :)

You can find a copy of There's An App For Love on Amazon.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, as always all opinions are my own.

A to Z Challenge: H


Day eight of the A to Z Challenge!

Hebetude 
Definition: the state of being dull : lethargy
Sentence: His wife thought he was suffering from a classic case of hebetude.

Halcyon 
Definition: calm : tranquil : peaceful : happy
Sentence: There was always a halcyon atmosphere amongst the friends.

Hegemony
Definition: the dominance or leadership of one social group or nation over others.
Sentence: Chinese officials say the purpose of their military modernization is purely defensive and they have no aspirations toward regional hegemony.
                 — Business Week (Jan 10, 2011)

Heterodox
Definition: characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards.
Sentence: You will think these ideas horribly heterodox, but if we all thought alike there would be nothing to write about and nothing to learn.
          —  James Marchant

Hortatory
Definition: giving strong encouragement.
Sentence: For hortatory or inspirational purposes we do not need to make this analysis; it has, indeed, its practical dangers.
            — Durant Drake

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A to Z Challenge: G




Day seven of the A to Z Challenge.  Has anyone noticed yet that I can't draw letters?  That's what I get for trying to do my own graphics!

Garrilous
Definition: full of trivial conversation. 
Sentence: He was not in the best of spirits, for the drink was dying out of him; but his garrulous, inconsequent talk amused me mightily.
                --Frank T Bullen

Genuflect
Definition: bend the knees and bow in church or before a religious superior or image.
Sentence: When you enter, bless yourself with holy water and go quietly to your seat, genuflect on your right knee and enter the pew.
            -- Anonymous

Gerrymander
Definition: divide unfairly and to one's advantage; of voting districts.
Sentence: In practice, though, officials in both parties often try to gerrymander districts to help themselves and their parties win more elections.
             --New York Times (Sep 7, 2010)

Gourmand
Definition: a person who is devoted to eating and drinking to excess.
Sentence: With ravenous appetites they partook of a feast which any gourmand might covet.
            --John S. C. Abbott

Grandiloquent
Definition: putting up with vanity.
Sentence: There was something theatrical and grandiloquent about him, and he seemed to pose like an actor who attracts admiration. 
           --Theophile Gautier

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A to Z Challenge: F



It's the sixth day of the A to Z Challenge, have you found any really interesting blogs?

Flummery 
Definition: 1. soft jelly or porridge made from meal 2. unsubstantial writing or talk : mumbo jumbo
Sentence: The teacher was unimpressed by the flummery that came out of the student.

Flagitious 
Definition: 1. shamefully wicked, as persons, actions, or times; 2. heinous or flagrant, as a crime
Sentence: The flagitious murderer was convicted of the crime.

Firmament
Definition: the apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected.
Sentence: The firmament above us was without a cloud, and of a darkness almost equal to that which surrounded the moon at 2 a.m.
          --John Tyndall

Fractious
Definition: easily irritated or annoyed.
Sentence: The last-minute haggling between 19 countries involved in the test over whether and how to make the test's design available, highlights fractious European Union decision-making.
         -- Reuters (July 8, 2010) 

Fulminate
Definition: criticize severely.
Sentence: Mr. Cameron has fulminated publicly about cutting public sector pay and decreed that members of Parliament themselves take a five percent pay cut.
        -- New York Times (May 25, 2010)

Monday, April 6, 2015

A to Z Challenge: E


Hello all and welcome to the fifth day of the A to Z Challenge.  I have to say I am really enjoying this whole having a theme thing, much easier than pulling subjects out of thin air every day.  Here come the words.

Endemic 
Definition: 1. belonging or native to a country or people 2. characteristic of a certain area, region or environment
Sentence: Curry is not the only spice endemic to India.

Eleemosynary 
Definition: 1. of or for charity; charitable; 2. given in charity; having the nature of alms; 3. supported by or dependent on charity
Sentence: The school was exceptionally eleemosynary towards the low-income families in the surrounding communities.

Exigent 
Definition: requiring, demanding, or calling for much attention or action
Sentence: The lawyer had an exigent client who demanded his papers immediately.

Ebullient
Definition: joyously unrestrained.
Sentence: The piece opened with ebullient bursts of energy and colour that scampered over harmonica drones played by one or more members.
                  -- New York Times (May 10, 2010)

Empirical
Definition: derived from experiment and observation rather than theory.
Sentence: "So far, no one has reported empirical evidence from real city-traffic data that the transition Kerner predicted actually occurs," Davis pointed out.
            -- US News (Oct 18, 2011)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A to Z Challenge: D


Welcome to the fourth day of the A to Z Challenge.  Going strong so far.  Everybody ready to learn some words with me?

Desultory
Definition: 1. marked by lack of definite plan, regularity, or purpose; 2. not connected with the main subject; 3. disappointing in progress, performance, or quality
Sentence: The desultory way in which he did his presentation was a disappointment to Professor Ng.

Deleterious 
Definition: harmful : destructive
Sentence: Pollution has a very deleterious effect on the planet.

Deliquesce
Definition: 1. to melt away or to disappear as if by melting 2. (chemistry) to dissolve gradually and become liquid by attracting and absorbing moisture from the air, as certain salts, acids, and alkalies
Sentence: The piles of gray snow from winter have finally deliquesced into puddles of dirty water for spring.

Dearth
Definition: an insufficient quantity or number.
Sentence: In those arid deserts, they suffered from thirst as well as from dearth of provisions.
            -- Dawson, Eneas MacDonell

Deleterious
Definition: harmful to living things.
Sentence: A number of the species are edible, while others have been recorded as deleterious, poisonous, etc.
         -- Thomas Taylor

Friday, April 3, 2015

A to Z Challenge: C


It's the third day of the A to Z Challenge.  Ready to learn some new words with me?

Cynosure
Definition: a center of attention : someone who directs or guides
Sentence: Sally always becomes the cynosure because of her good looks.

Contumacious 
Definition: stubbornly defiant or rebellious; disobedient
Sentence: The contumacious woman wouldn't agree to anything the police officer told her to do.

Cacophonous
Definition: having an unpleasant sound.
Sentence: Shoppers mingle, traders peddle their wares and children play in the street, all to a cacophonous backdrop of roaring motorbikes and honking cars.
            -- Reuters (May 9, 2010)

Chimerical
Definition: produced by a wildly fanciful imagination.
Sentence: Indeed during his wild and chimerical attempts for finding out a golden country, it is not improbable that this brave adventurer visited many different places.
                 -- Alexander Hewatt 

Contemporaneous
Definition: occurring in the same period of time.
Sentence: In all cases, these materials have been introduced into the cave at some period subsequent to, or contemporaneous with the formation of the cave.
               -- Henry Alleyne Nicholson

A House Divided Blog Tour

House Divided (1)

house divided

House Divided

There is a law irrevocably decreed in the state of Alabama that you must choose a team. You're either an Auburn fan or an Alabama Fan. There is no fence sitting or waffling. It’s one or the other. However, it doesn't mean that you can’t fall in love with someone from the opposing side. They even have a name for it ... House Divided.

Ellie Eaton and Brady Jackson were just such a couple, but unfortunately they were separated by more than just their loyalty to a university. Against the odds and against the rules, Ellie and Brady dove right into the forbidden current of friendship and then love. Their sweet, innocent romance was one for the storybooks, but old rules and family prejudices ultimately tore them apart, just as they were each ready to depart to their beloved universities, Ellie to Auburn and Brady to Alabama. But years later, when near tragedy strikes, they're brought together again and given a second chance at love, this time with help from some very unlikely sources.

House Divided is a sweet romance filled with southern charm, a dash of humor and, for good measure, a pinch of lies and intrigue.

EXCERPT

I was so thrilled that Brady was in my home that I didn’t notice he wasn’t acting like himself. I pulled him into our drawing room where the fireplace was lit and the twelve-foot high Christmas tree sparkled in the dimly illuminated room. Under the tree sat my wrapped present for Brady. I retrieved the present and sat in front of the fireplace on the floor. Brady sat next to me, and before I could say a word, he pulled me to him and kissed me like he never had before. It was like a man kissing a woman, not a boy kissing a girl. I could barely breathe when he was done. His breathing was ragged too.

"Well, Merry Christmas," I said. That was present enough for me.

He smiled that country boy smile I loved so much, but it was then I noticed it didn’t touch his eyes like his smile always had.

"What’s wrong, Brady?"

He pulled on my hair, like he always had. "Ellie …"

"Brady?"

He took a deep breath and looked at me with his baby blues. "We can’t be together anymore," he quickly blurted out.

I just shook my head. Surely I had heard him wrong, but I knew I hadn’t.

I backed up, and he scooted closer. The tears welled up in my eyes and in his. "Please, Ellie, just listen to me."

"My name is Ella," I replied bitingly.

"Ok … Ella. I’m so sorry, but being with you is tearing my family apart, and with my daddy so sick … I … I have to … I have to do this for my family. Can you please understand that?"

I was speechless. I loved him. I had broken my aunt’s rules and heart for him. And he, he was the one who pursued me and who had to shout it to the world that we were together. How could he just end it like that? I didn’t understand. The tears began to flow. He tried to wipe them away, but I wouldn’t let him. I didn’t want him to touch me.

He stood up, but before he left, he looked down at me. "I love you, Miss Ellie."

How could he? I just stared up at him blankly.

"Don’t worry, Ellie, you don’t have to say it back. I love us enough for the both of us."

Review:

This is one of this sweetest books I have ever read, many, many parts of it brought tears to my eyes.  (I am such a sap) There are many kinds of love and Peel manages to accurately portray so many of them in this book.

Every time Caroline said "Miss Ellie" I giggled a little bit because my daughter is five and I could hear her voice in my head.  The whole book was very touching and I enjoyed in immensely.

Praise for the Book

"House Divided was one of those books that made me want to ignore my children, my to-do list, my need for food, and pretty much anything else that would keep me from reading. Jennifer Peel has a real gift for depicting first love, heartbreak, and hope."

"A tender, soft, story that truly is a gem to read."

"Ms. Peel has created a story that stands as a tribute to true southern gentility, it's foibles and strengths. Truly a beautiful read that gives heart and meaning to true devotion. She truly knows how to weave a story that has beauty and true southern charm."



add to goodreads





Jennifer Peel Headshot

Author Jennifer Peel

I'm a Colorado native who currently calls Alabama home. I'm the mother of three amazing children who have grown up way too fast. I enjoy the mountains, vacations at the beach, date night with my husband, late night talks with my kiddos, touring model homes, and pink bubblegum ice cream.

I grew up on the Western Slope in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I learned to love the beauty of the outdoors, but not camping--unless staying overnight at the Marriott counts. I met my husband while living in Denver and then several years later we traded the beauty and majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains for the art and culture of Chicago, Illinois. My family and I enjoyed living near this world class city, despite the crazy cold winters, but new adventures awaited in Northern Alabama--just six hours away from Orange Beach, Alabama. These three magical places (the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Chicago, and Orange Beach) are the inspired locations used in several of my books.

Jennifer Peel



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Ends 4/12/15

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

A to Z Challenge: B


It's day two of the A to Z Challenge.   How is everyone holding up?  Ready to learn some new words with me?

Bagatelle 
Definition: 1. a French table game like billiards played with pins as obstacles; 2. something of little value or importance; a trifle; 3. a short and light musical composition, typically for the piano.
Sentence: Even though Marty had never played bagatelle before, he seemed to be a natural.

Bouleversement 
Definition: complete overthrow : a reversal.
Sentence: The group threatened a complete bouleversement of the government.

Bellicose
Definition: having or showing a ready deposition to fight.
Sentence: So far from unduly fostering a bellicose spirit tending to war, these would  be tactful preventatives of wasteful foreign and civil broils. 
                -- Carson Jay Lee

Blandishment
Definition: flattery intended to persuade.
Sentence: He had expected coaxings, blandishments, the pleadings and wiles with which Virginia the elder had made him so intimately acquainted.   
           -- Mrs. Baillie Reynolds

Bowdlerize
Definition: edit by omitting or modifying parts considered indelicate. 
Sentence: Being an iconic classic, however, hasn't protected "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" from being banned, bowdlerized and bleeped.
          -- New York Times (Jan, 7, 2011)