Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! 

Be safe!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Favorite Books of 2014

I can't believe it's that time of the year again! A new year will soon be upon us, and with it possibilities for change and renewal, or maybe just maintaining what you have going right now. And of course, it means an opportunity to read more books! Whether you want to try new authors, different genres, or keep reading tried and true favorites, the sky's the limit!

I know that this past year I wanted to keep my reading more lighthearted. I sometimes can immerse myself in big and heavy themes, and sometimes I need a break from those. This was a year where I definitely tried to balance my reading between easy breezy and something a little more challenging. And of course, I had a few favorites along the way!

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler: I loved this book except for the end, but the rest of the book makes up for it. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

It's a Wrap!

With our four days of celebrating coming to a close, I am filled with happiness when I think about how those days have been spent. Our holidays are always so full of laughter and happiness, houses crammed full of the people I love, and every year our celebrations grow as more and more people enter the family, through marriage, friendship, and now through the influx of babies being born. My cousin and his wife just had a baby in October, and my other cousin is pregnant and due in January, while I am due in April. Next Christmas will be busier than ever, with all of our little boys running around.

It will certainly be a different Christmas for my husband and I. We have been together 20 years, 14 of them married, and our Christmas mornings are about to change from quiet and peaceful and slow, to something entirely different! We are of course ecstatic about the upcoming changes, and how much fun and love this little guy is going to bring into our lives. We may be a twosome now, but we will be even better when we become three.

This Christmas was sentimental, joyous, full of cheer and all those emotions we hear about in Christmas carols. The only thing missing was the snow! Hopefully next year we have a white Christmas, for my baby's first, but even if there isn't snow, I know that as long as the holiday is as filled with love and joy as this one and all the ones before, then it will be a perfect first Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up and It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

Week in Review:

It's been a crazy week, as I am sure it must have been for a lot of you out there! When I wasn't running around all crazy like, I was mostly falling asleep on the couch early in the evening.  The hubs and I did watch a few holiday movies before I crashed, so that was fun. We also made sure to have a little quiet together time Saturday, and took a ride around Belle Isle. We stopped in at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo because I love to watch the birds, and while we were there got to feed the albino fallow deer!

I also entered a contest hosted by author Christopher Golden, and won! My giant box of books came Saturday, I am super excited!

Reading this Week:


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: With a little more downtime in the next few days, I am sure I will finish this short story. I did start it and I am in love.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: If I manage to finish A Christmas Carol, I plan on starting Station Eleven. I have heard good things!

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review Quickies: A Mistletoe Christmas and Snowed In

Title: A Mistletoe Christmas
Authors: Carla Cassidy; Cathy McDavid; Marin Thomas
Source: NetGalley

I thought this book was so sweet! I rarely use that word, but I think it applies here. I enjoyed all the stories in this happy little book. The town of Mistletoe sounds like the perfect small town to live in, with great people. I can only imagine living in such a place, especially at Christmas! This is the kind of book I love to read in December - books where dreams come true, with plenty of snow. I enjoyed all the stories, but the last one, Mistletoe Magic, was my favorite of them all.

Title: Snowed In
Author: Sarah Title
Source: NetGalley

I really loved this novella - so much in fact, that I really wanted it to be a full length book. I loved the characters in this story, and wanted to know more about their story. The premise of being snowed in is such a romantic one to me, and I love the use of it in this book. I really think the characters Maureen and Gavin have a great chemistry, and I love the way they first met. Who wouldn't like to have a hot guy cheer them up in a grocery store, after being caught crying into ice cream while wearing your sweats? This is a fun book to curl up on the couch with, a mug of hot chocolate or drink of choice next to you, providing a temporary escape from the insanity that is December. Let Snowed In take you away!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading!

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

Another whirlwind week! I hosted book club, and my family and I attended Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village on Friday night. Saturday night my husband and I ventured out to the Wayne County Lightfest, which was cray-cray! I plan on writing a few posts about the holiday events I have been attending here in the Detroit Metro area, hopefully this week!

Read Last Week:


Little Women: Finished just in time for book club! 

A Mistletoe Christmas by Carla Cassidy, et al: This was a fun one! I enjoyed it.

Snowed In by Sarah Title: I really enjoyed this novella - in fact, I wanted it to be a lot longer!

Reading This Week:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: Reading as part of Brona's Books readalong, although I still have to sign up!

Posted Last Week:

Friday, December 12, 2014

Quickie Reviews of Holiday Reads - The Heart of Christmas and "Tis the Season

Title: The Heart of Christmas
Author: Brenda Novak
Source: NetGalley

So this was not my favorite of the holiday books I have been reading. I actually forced myself to finish it. The main character Eve drove me nuts - who tells their parents they had a one-night stand, when they don't have to tell them anything at all? Her personality just really bugged me. I didn't care for the love interest at all either. His back story just seemed too out of place, too contrived, and I just never warmed to him. I liked the setting, and supporting characters despite a weird secondary plot involving Eve's best friend. I feel had I read the other books in the series, maybe I would have liked this book better.  Maybe. Overall, I this book just wasn't my cup of tea.

Title: 'Tis the Season
Author: Robyn Carr
Source: NetGalley

I loved the two holiday stories in this book! I loved the setting and the characters, and while the stories are not going to change your world, they were fun to read and enjoyable. I in particular enjoyed the first story, "Under the Christmas Tree", where some cute little friends are discovered under a Christmas tree. The second story was a New Years story, but equally cute. They were perfect, quick, fun reads for the holiday season. The only downside was when I blundered into the bonus novella - it was totally unconnected to the first two stories, and it just threw me off. I didn't enjoy that story at all. So if you are looking for cozy holiday stories, just stick to the first two in this book. If you don't mind mixing it up, go ahead and read the bonus story. I have to say though, I don't think I would have enjoyed the bonus story at any time. I just didn't like the characters that much.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Great Big Christmas Movie List

I am a creature of habit, and tradition. One thing I love to do every year is watch all my favorite holiday movies, and the list seems to grow every year. Many of them are beloved from my childhood, when I would watch them with my little brother and my cousins.

Here are my top favorites!

Love Actually - I have some serious actual love for this movie. I can watch it over and over, any time of the year, and it never gets old to me. My very favorite of them all. Also, my favorite carol is sung in this movie - Good King Wenceslas.

Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas - I remember going to my cousin's house when this movie first aired to watch it. We were so excited! I still really enjoy it, even with all the long songs. 

A Garfield Christmas - Another holdover from my youth. This is a particular favorite of my brother's and mine. And the grandma in it reminds me of my own grandma. Lol.

The Muppet Christmas Carol - I totally love this movie. "Come in, and get to know me better man." Plus another movie that includes my favorite carol, Good King Wenceslas. 

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street - Wow this movie goes way back for me, all the way to when I was 3! I also had the record which I listened to every Christmas Eve when I went to sleep. I watched it already this year, and it made me all teary! 

White Christmas - I remember watching this for the first time with my mom, and loving it. It's a must watch every year.

A Charlie Brown Christmas - I love this movie! I always have. 

Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation - SQUIRRRELL!!!!! This movie cracks me up, but also has its tender moments as well.

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas - I am a Disney girl, growing up with all things Disney. It never goes away!

It's a Wonderful Life - No list is complete without this movie. It's the most classic holiday movie of them all, in my opinion. Now that I am older though, it makes me cry! 
"No man is a failure who has friends."

Bonus: New Years Movie!

The Big Year: Such a good movie!! I absolutely love it. 

So what about you guys? What are your traditional favorites?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

Whew, last week was a doozy!! I had a million things to do, as well as get ready for finals, including the writing of a final paper. I am relieved that the worst is behind me, and I only have one test left on Friday.  Not that my life is bound to get any less busy, being December and getting ready for Christmas. I did have a fun weekend. On Saturday, I went to the Detroit Urban Craft Fair with my mom, and later that evening the husband and I went to Noel Night in Detroit with my brother and sister-in-law. The Craft Fair was really fun, but Noel Night didn't seem as festive as usual. We still had fun walking around together, although my brother couldn't get over how slow pregnancy has made me! Lol. 

Read Last Week:

I stuck to fluffy fun holiday reading before bedtime - I really needed it to relax!


The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak: I am not usually super picky when it comes to holiday romances, but I really didn't like this one too much. Maybe it was because I have never read this series before or what, but I didn't like it. Review soon.

'Tis the Season by Robyn Carr: On the other hand, I did really like this one. At least the first two stories? It says it has two holiday stories which it did, but then all of a sudden there was a completely unrelated story as well. I somehow didn't realize it had a bonus novella in it, until I was reading it. I blame fatigue! Lol. Anyway, I liked the two holiday stories a lot, but not the bonus story. Review soon.

Reading this Week:


Little Women: Finishing up this bad boy (girl?) this week. I didn't get much time to work on it last week, but I don't have much to go. Book club is this week so I need to get it done! I am planning on sitting lazily around today, so I will get some reading knocked out.

A Mistletoe Christmas by Carla Cassidy, et al: So far, I am really enjoying this cute little book. 


I plan on watching a million Christmas movies between now and Christmas! I feel a post about my yearly traditional movies coming up. Lol. Also, I am looking forward to watching the new TNT show, The Librarians! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Taking a short hiatus! See you Next Week!

It's the end of the semester and there is so much to do and study for! I have to pull a full Hermione and get to work. See you all soon!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful day spent with people you love!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, that is guaranteed to add to your reading list.

Read Last Week:

In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins: This was a fun snowy read! I enjoyed it.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: I'm not finished but I am going to buckle down on it this week and get it done. I am enjoying it but am so tired by the time I get to read most nights I fall asleep!

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder: I always get a little nostalgic and reread this series in the winter. 

Reading This Week:


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: This is my week to finish this book!

Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich: Seemed appropriate for this week. :)

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