Jun 6, 2014

Book Review; The Grand Finale

The Grand Finale by Janet Evanovich (1988)

Goodreads says...

Berry Knudson had a talent for disaster, but when she climbed a tree to rescue a kitten, she wasn't prepared for the scrumptious hunk undressing in a nearby window, or her dive downward that smashed Jake Sawyer's pizza and won his heart! But was there room in her chaotic schedule for a risk-taking inventor with dreams? She took classes, delivered pizzas, and cared for three eccentric old ladies she rescued from the train station. But Jake thrived on a challenge, and he could be very inventive. Could he teach her there was time to make butterscotch pudding and let herself be loved?

My thoughts...

Janet Evanovich is one of my favourite authors, so when I saw one of her earlier books was available in the e-book section of my public library I thought I'd grab it for a fun read. It wasn't bad, but I didn't find it held my interest. The characters were okay, and so was the plot, but it didn't have me laughing out loud like I expected.

Has your favourite author ever disappointed you?

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Jun 5, 2014

#TBTStories; Engagement Photos

I think Throw Back Thursday Stories is my favourite link-up. This is the third week in a row that I've linked up with Jessica @ The Mom Creative and I'm already thinking about what picture(s) to use next!


Today I'm sharing a couple of my engagement pictures. I tried to narrow it down to one, but I couldn't...

 J proposed to me on January 13th, 2008. It was a Sunday evening after church. We had decided we were going to go out for dinner that night and he was driving. The route he was taking to the restaurant seemed a little weird, but I have a horrible sense of direction so I just figured he knew where he was going. Once we hit a particular spot I realized that our destination was not the restaurant we had chosen for dinner. As we turned down the road to Sandford Fleming Park J looked over at me and asked what I was thinking. I'm pretty sure I squeaked out, "nothing" before turn to stare out the window.

We pulled into the park and carefully made our way over to the gazebo. It was freezing cold and the ground was covered in ice, and I (of course!) was wearing heels. We slipped and slid our way to the gazebo and I turned to stare at the tower in the distance. I remember saying something like, "It's beautiful tonight," and then J asked me to turn around. I joke that my husband is a man of few words, people always find him very quiet and reserved, and that night was no exception.

I turned back around to see him standing there with the ring box open in front of me, and all he said was, "Will you marry me?" My response was an immediate yes, and throwing my arms around him.

Even though he hadn't planned a long, eloquent, romantic speech I still think the proposal was perfect. It's just who J is. And I talk enough for both of us! ;-)

Our engagement photos were taken several months later (a year after the day I thought I was getting proposed to) by my friend and co-worked, Kate. It was sort of a dreary, grey day but that seems to work well when you're doing outdoor shoots. We had a photos done at the same park where J proposed. (It had also been the site of one of our first dates.)

There have been a lot of proposals happening in our lives lately. One of my best friends just got engaged, my brother-in-law proposed to his girlfriend a couple months ago and just a couple weeks ago my brother proposed as well. It made me think a lot about the night J proposed to me. And while the speeches my brother made and my friends boyfriend made were romantic, I still love my proposal story best.

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Jun 4, 2014

May Recap & June Goals

I'm a few days late posting my goals again this month, but I think it's because I did a horrible job completing last month's goals.

My May goals were:

1. Taking my lunch to work more. This didn't happen. I did get a couple Subway gift cards for my birthday that I used for lunches, so I didn't spend as much money on food at work this month, but that's not what my goal was.

2. Exercise more. This really didn't happen, I don't think I exercised at all this month!

3. Read one non-fiction book. This one actually happened! I finished reading Barbie & Ruth, the story of Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie. And I enjoyed it. I was so into Barbie when I was little that it was neat to see where she came from.

I think I'm going to try and make my goals for June a little more specific. Hopefully that helps!

June Goals 2014

1. Take my lunch to work at least twice a week. Hopefully by setting a specific number of days I'll be more successful. I'll try twice a week this month and then three times a month in July.

2. Try out at least two new recipes. I want to start getting more confident in the kitchen, and I'd like to have a larger rotation of supper ideas. I get a little lazy in the summer too, pretty much every night it's like, "Hmmm, what can I get J to barbeque tonight?" and then I just buy a bag of salad to go with it.

3. Bake something. It's been months since I've done any baking! I actually enjoy baking, I just don't enjoy thr mess I make in the kitchen. J loves fresh baked cookies and muffins though so it would be nice to surprise him with a special treat.

4. Get some new pictures of J and I that aren't selfies. This one is totally cheating because I know this is going to happen. Our mother's day gift to J's mom was a family portrait session when his sister is home from Florida. We're using the photographer J and I always use (Tammy) so I know we'll get a couple shots of just J and I. Plus, at least one of our vacation days will be spent with J's sister and her boyfriend doing touristy things and I definitely plan on taking advantage of the fact that it's not just us out and about.

J's long arms are perfect for capturing selfies

5. Go on two dates with J. Even though we're married I think it's important that we still "date." We spend lots of time together, but most of it is spent in front of the TV. Hopefully this one will be easy since we're going on vacation soon.

6. Try out a new (non-chain!) restaurant. Halifax is full of neat little restaurants. Last Saturday night we tried out Brooklyn Warehouse and the entire meal we both kept saying how nice it was to be at a restaurant that wasn't Boston Pizza or Montana's. The food was amazing, and so was the atmosphere. (I really wish I had taken some pictures!) I want us to do that more often, either just the two of us or with friends.

7. Take Daisy to the park at least four times. I'm really hoping this will be an easy one since we're going to be on vacation for a week this month, but it depends on the weather too. Daisy loves adventures though, and with the long hours J has been working she's been being a bit neglected.

8. Watch at least one movie in the theatre and one at home. J loves movies, but I have a really short attention span so we tend not to watch too many. There are a few I want to see though so I'm going to try and take some time this month to do something he really enjoys doing.

A rare occurence, J & I at the movies
9. Save some money! I don't actually think this is going to happen this month with our upcoming vacation and J's birthday, but I want to at least be a little more conscious of my spending. Hopefully next month we can actually start trying to save.

10. Blog at least four times a week. I had to stick a blogging goal on the list! I want to make sure I don't abandon this blog like I've done with so many others. (I'm also hoping to hit 20 followers on Bloglovin this month so feel free to follow me!)

I think that's good! Hopefully June goes better than May did in terms of completing my goals. Do you set monthly goals? How did you do last month? What one thing do you really want to accomplish this month?

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Jun 3, 2014

Tunes on Tuesday

I want to finally get back to my 'Tunes on Tuesday' posts. I thought I should post my list again since it's been a month since I first posted it.

Today I'm supposed to share a song that reminds you of my most recent ex-boyfriend. Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you look at it!) my boyfriend before J was the guy I dated in the summer after I graduated from high school. He didn't go to my school so we didn't dance at my prom. Most of our time together was spent hanging out (and making out) in my parents' basement. I don't really remember all that much about our relationship, it was 14 years ago, and I definitely don't remember us having a "song."

I thought I'd look up the top songs from the summer of 2000 to see if that brought back any memories. They did - but not memories of him.

So, even though that long ago break-up was mutual, here's a couple of classic"break-up" songs. (Well, I consider them classic any way!)

Do you have a favourite break-up song?

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Jun 2, 2014

The Other Side of Blogging

One of the things I struggle with in the blogosphere is comparing myself to other bloggers. I find that sometimes I get into a bit of a 'funk' (for lack of a better word) and start comparing my life to the lives of the bloggers I read about.

There are people taking exciting vacations, people getting married or engaged, people having babies... Plus everyone seems to take beautiful pictures with beautiful cameras of beautiful places (including beautiful homes) wearing beautiful clothes.

I can't afford an exciting vacation, I'm already married and can't even really be considered a "newly wed" any more, and the fact that I don't currently have children will be a topic for another time. I am not at all fashionable, and the clothing I do like looks out of place on my figure. And even if that wasn't the case, there's still the cost factor.

But I realized two things this weekend...

One, not everything on the internet is true. Not that I think bloggers are lying about their lifestyles, but I do think a lot of bloggers focus and post about the good stuff. (And that's not necessarily a bad thing.) All of my weekend updates have been about fun adventures that I've had with J, but we didn't do anything this weekend so I probably won't bother posting a weekend update. So to the casual observer it looks like my weekends are all day trips to the Atlantic when the truth is most of my weekends are spent quietly at home curled up on the couch watching Netflix. (Although we did try out a great new restaurant this weekend...)

Two, I still love being part of the blogosphere. Yes, sometimes it may make me feel slightly inadequate, but it also challenges me. It challenges me to write better, and to come up with creative ideas for posts. It gets me off my butt - I want to do things so I have stuff to blog about. I want to go places, I want to try out new recipes, and I want to take lots of pictures. (Even if I am just using my little Sony Cybershot!)

Happy blogging!
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Jun 1, 2014