Thursday, October 20, 2016

Daisy Asks for Your Recommendations (Once Again)!

So this is gonna be me in a little while :) My bump's not big enough to actually balance something on right now, but we're slowly going to get there!

The boyfriend and I are slowly preparing for life with a baby that will actually NEED things (as in opposed to just me needing things at the moment) and while I have the whole pregnancy information thing down with all of the sites across the interweb and What To Expect When You're Expecting, which has a TON of knowledge, and also the things I know as a doctor, I'd like to be a little more knowledgeable about the stuff that comes after the baby makes his or her grand entrance.

And I wouldn't be the little bookworm that I am if I didn't want to read up on all things baby-related and parenting tip and tricks. I mean, obviously I've already made a deal with the baby that he or she will be a bundle of joy, filled with rainbows and fairy dust. But just in case he or she decides to go back on this agreement, I'd like to know everything I need to know.
SO hit me with your best suggestions! I have a chunk of time at my disposal before my due date early March. I've already got French Children Don't Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman, which looks awesome.

And also: what are the books you loved to read to your kids in the early days? I'm determined to read him or her lots of stories :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ten Characters We'd Name Our Children or Pets After

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

October 18: Ten Characters I'd Name A Child/Dog/Cat/Car/Etc. After -- we did this topic back in 2011 and thought it might be fun to revisit it...feel free to spin it how you need!

5 Characters We'd Name A Child After

 Jamie's Picks:

1. Jonah: I would totally name a little boy Jonah after Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. My sporadic reminder to READ THIS BOOK!

2. Adelina: I really love this name and the character it came from -- Adelina from The Young Elites. She's SUCH a complicated character but I love her so much. I would probably change the name from Adelina to Adeline but I would definitely be inspired by Adelina.

3. Levi: I really love the name Levi and he was THE BEST in Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl.

4. Nehemia: I don't know that I would use this as a first name personally but Nehemia from the Throne of Glass series could definitely inspire a middle name for a future child. LOVE HER.

5. Molly: I have always loved the name Molly since the American Girls days but after reading Harry Potter (for the first time) at age 30 I fell in LOVE with Mrs. Weasley and I waxed poetic about her here. She is worthy of naming a child after.

5 Characters We'd Name A Pet After

Jamie's picks:

1. Finnikin: Well, I DID name my dog Finnikin (Finn for short) after a character from one of my all time favorite series (The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta).

2. Betsy: In one of my favorite books (Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins) the family dog's name is Heavens to Betsy. I so would name a dog Betsy in honor of Heavens to Betsy.

Kimberly's pick

 3. Cordelia (Anne of Green Gables): I've already done this! Nearly gave my aunt a heart attack. I told her she had a new grand niece... 4 months after getting married. She was happy to learn that I wasn't pregnant, and even better, giving the name to a dog and not a human baby.

Julia's pick

4. I'd name my dog Remus or Sirius from Harry Potter. I just love them but I would never stick a child with that name. 

5. Arya: My friend's dog whom is like the closest I've actually had to a dog is named Arya after the character on GoT. I always tell her that she is named after the fierce warrior especially when she gets scared when we are on a walk by a leaf...

What about you guys??

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ten Books We Read Because Of Other Bloggers

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Today's topic: All About Books You Read Because of Recommendation -- Ten Books I've Read Because Of Another  Blogger (Or Book Person) or Ten Books I Read On Recommendation From People Outside Of This Community or you could talk about recommendations of books you read from other sources -- a magazine, a podcast, a "because you read this" algorithm.

Daisy's Picks

1. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger: this came recommended by a LOT of people, but also a lot by my friend Debby, so obviously I picked it up and it was AMAZING! SO much love for this book! And the movie was fun too :)

2. Death Note Vol 1 by Tsugumi Ohba: which came recommended by our wonderful blog readers! See, I listen to you guys! I really need to continue this series. 

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer: robots/cyborgs are not my thing. But OMG THIS BOOK! I would never have picked this up if it wasn't for everyone and their aunt being in my face all over the blogosphere telling me to read it.

Jamie's Picks

4. Saga by Brian K. Vaughn: Saga was one of the first comics I ever picked up and I wouldn't have done it had it not been for seeing bloggers rave about it and especially watching my friend Lindsey go crazy for it!  

5. My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry: I solely added this to my TBR list because of fellow blogger Hannah and she was totally right about it. 

6.  The Deal by Elle Kennedy: I'm really picky about New Adult romance books but soooo many bloggers I trusted were obsessed with this series and so I finally picked up the first book and loved it!!

Julia's Picks

7. Across the Universe by Beth Revis: I know for a fact I only heard about this amazing book series because of the Bloggerverse. Amazing cover and amazing series. 

8. Divergent by Veronica Roth: I still have yet to read the rest of this series but I remember that I felt like everyone in the book world had read this book but me. Everyone had so many opinions on Allegiant, so I knew I had to finally start so I wouldnt be left out of all the fun talking!

Tell us what books you read because of recommendations!

Monday, October 10, 2016

How to buy happiness (that isn't a book)

October is National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month. In an effort to help spread awareness and encourage everyone to consider adoption first, I (Kimberly) thought I'd share my own shelter dog story. Promise you're going to love it!

I grew up with dogs, so did my husband. It wasn't even a question of if, but WHEN we would adopt a dog. We had only been married for a couple months when I started looking online at local rescues. We weren't picky about what we wanted. Just something that would be a good fit for our townhome and our full time schedules. (Smallish, not a puppy)

After a few unsuccessful adoption fairs we decided to check out the Humane Society of Utah. Before we drove out there we looked at their website to see who was available for adoption. The only one that stood out was Copper. He looked cute in his picture, was described as friendly and great with pets and kids.

When we got to HSU we asked about him first. That "small, sweet dog"? Over 50 pounds, difficult to control, completely uninterested in us, only wanted to bark at everything that moved. While I'm sure he was the perfect fit for someone else, he would have been miserable with us. (We have a small backyard. He was known to scale fences over 6ft.)

So we went back to prowling the isles.

Top: The day after we adopted her
Bottom: One year later.
So much healthier
I walked past a kennel that I at first thought was empty, I quickly backtracked when I realized there was a small dog sitting in the back. When I stopped by the door she stood up and walked up next to the door. She had a small, barely healed sore on her nose. She was silent. Every kennel around me was practically vibrating with its occupants' enthusiastic greetings.

I opened the door and crouched down, ready to catch her if she ran out. Instead, she walked directly to me and put her paw on my knee.

Just like that, I fell in love. I knew at that moment I wanted her to be ours. I picked her up and she immediately curled into me, cuddling close. Still, I was nervous. What if she was aggressive around other animals? Or other people? We grabbed a leash and took her outside to play.

She was perfect. She walked right next to me, every few seconds she'd glance back, as if she was checking to see if we were still there. When we got to the enclosed dog run we took her off her leash to play. Instead of charging the fence to bark at the other dogs, she ran right back to us. If we knelt, she'd roll on her back for belly rubs. She completely ignored the ball. I picked her up again and just like before, she cuddled into me.

I looked directly at my husband, "She's ours."

"Are you sur--"
I plopped her into his arms and she curled into him, just as she had done with me.
Then I watched him fall in love.
That was it. She was ours.

We walked her back into the lobby and I went right up to the desk and told them we wanted to adopt her. They told us what little history they knew about her. She was 7 months old, had been at HSU for two weeks. Before that she'd been in a shelter in California for over a month. She'd spent almost half of her short life in a kennel.

The adoption process was easier, but also more complicated than I had imagined. We had an interview as well as a contract, promising that we would treat her right. The questions ranged from "do you know how to train a dog" to "No scientific experiments". Apparently we passed and didn't come across as animal abusers because about an hour later we were walking out the door, a family of three.
Left: At the shelter Right: First night at home
On the way home she got a new name. In the shelter she'd been called "Annie". She didn't respond to it, and we already had an Aunt Annie and a family friend's dog was also called Annie. So, in the spirit of one of my other favorite orphans, she became Cordelia. (Anne of Green Gables, anyone?)

We stopped at on our way home and bought all the essentials. Dog dishes, food, treats, a collar, leash, puppy packet, dog shampoo, blanket, dog bed... (You're welcome, Petsmart).

That night we bathed her, fed her, and fixed up the kennel so she'd be comfy overnight. We had no sooner closed the door on the crate when  she started to freak out. Whining, scratching, shoving her nose into the wires on the doors. We pulled her out as quickly as we could. The sore on her nose had reopened and was bleeding. (Which explained what had happened in the first place.)
Instead we put her on the bed. She immediately settled down and went to sleep. She has slept there every night since.

The next several months we learned a lot.

Some of the damage.
We were planning on tiling
this anyway...
First, she was actually a pure bred Jack Russell Terrier, instead of the Chihuahua mix the shelter had told us she was. (We weren't picky about breed!)

She had horrible separation anxiety. RIP blinds, carpet, and shoes...

She didn't know how to play. We had to teach her. She quickly discovered that her favorite toy is a squeaky ball

She had issues with food. She would cower if we startled her and we wouldn't be able to get her to eat again for several hours.

She loves anything soft. I guess after spending so much time sleeping on a hard floor in a shelter she has to make up for lost time.

She rarely makes a sound, but will give a short howl of excitement when we get home.

She is very protective of anyone she has deemed to be "hers". Us, my nieces and nephews, my neighbor... She once chased a much larger dog off the block because he was too close to the little girl next door. (Cordelia is a whopping 11 pounds, this other dog was around 40.)

She no longer knocks over the trashcan when we leave it out, instead, she picks what she wants out of the top. 
This is what I saw for a
straight 48 hours when
I was really sick.
Always so concerned.

She is the laziest Jack Russell I've ever seen. She'll sleep past 10am if you let her, and is done for the day by 8pm.

She loves people, and I love seeing her charm even the grumpiest of people.

We worked through our problems and learned how to make her the happiest we could. In return, she has been one of the best parts of our lives. 

If you actually read this, you deserve a cookie. Have you ever adopted a pet? What's YOUR story? Please share in the comments below! I've included some links to help you find your own rescue baby.

The Humane Society of Utah
American Humane

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Our September Faves & October TBR

We are officially into Fall and I don't know about you but I'm pretty excited. I mean, summer is my FAVORITE season but once I accept that it's GONE... then I get excited for ALL THE THINGS.

Anyways, now that September is behind us and October has arrived, it is that time for a few of us (reading slump city over here for the rest of our team) to tell you what books wowed us last month and what books are on our TBR for the next! -- Jamie

September Faves

Jamie's Pick
Kids of Appetite by David Arnold: I loved his debut and I have to say I think I loved this one EVEN MORE. Loved this ragtag group of kids and loved how the story unfolded!!

Lauren's Pick
All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders: I honestly can't express how much I loved this novel. I gathered from the synopsis of this novel that it would be about a friendship between two individuals that blossoms during their childhoods. That was definitely an integral part of the story, but in my eyes not the main focus. The characters were so open and filled with raw emotion. I shoved reading time in between my lunch breaks at work, hell I even brought my kindle in the bathtub! Both fantasy and sci-fi lovers will not be able to put this one down.

Daisy's Pick
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: September was actually not such an awesome reading month for me, with zero 5 star books, which is sad. But I did enjoy City of Bones, I already talked about it here in case you missed it :)

October TBR

Jamie's Pick 
The Midnight Star by Marie Lu: Definitely one of my most anticipated books of the YEAR. This series is so awesome and I cannot wait to see what happens in this installment. If you haven't started this series, please let me tell you why you should.

Lauren's Pick
Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger: I am currently completely and utterly entranced by this novel. Enough so that I've already written down several quotes because... what reader doesn't write down quotes?! My favorite so far... "Life is an impossible twist of choice and circumstance, one rarely exists without the other." Yes, perfection.

Daisy's Pick
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas: because OMG IT IS FINALLY HERE!!! THE WAIT IS OVER! I will SO read this in my epic 3,5 week vacation in October :)

What about you guys?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday -- Daisy's Top Ten Villains in Books

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

This week it's all about villains! You can do anything you like, top ten favourite/most compelling villains in books, top ten of the most vile villains/bad guys in books, top ten villains I secretly (or not so secretly) love, favorite tv villains, favorite comic book villains, ten "villains" of contemporary lit.

I decided to go with my favourite/most memorable villains from books.

1. The Witches from The Witches by Roald Dahl: SO CREEPY! I mean, seriously, I loved to be scared of the witches in this book and they're kinda uber-villains.

2. A from Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard: A is creepy and evil in that he or she seems to be EVERYWHERE and knows EVERYTHING. I'm not that far into the books yet, but I've seen all of the episodes of the tv series (and while I'm getting a little underwhelmed with the series, I'll probably still watch the rest of the season because CRAZY).

3. Cersei Lannister from A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: I could have gone with Joffrey, but him I just mostly HATE, while Cersei is a more fun character to both hate and also have another dimension than just being evil. I mean, she's the ultimate momma bear. I don't agree with her methods, but still, she's a lady who wants some power of her own in a world ruled by menand I can understand that.

4. The Titans from Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan: Or basically any of the other mythogical beings that are working against Percy and his friends. I just love mythology and seeing them come to life, even the evil ones, is awesome.

5. Victor and Eli from Vicious by V.E. Schwab: SO much love for this book! I loved that Victor and Eli are both not exactly good guys, but that Victor managed to steal my heart anyway. I really need the sequel.

6. Sauron from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: Sauron is basically what I picture an all evil all-knowing entitiy to be like and even though you only ever see his EYE, he inspires so much fear in everyone that he definitely deserves to be on this list.

7. Mr Wickham from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: my favourite novel and one of my favourite villains that is not in fact someone that has a paranormal ability. At least not that we know of.

8. The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: The Darkling is such an amazing character! I mean, I love that Leigh inspired so much discussion about him and there haven't been many villains that are actually being shipped with the MC by people.

9. Captain Hook from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie: Captain Hook is a villain that I've loved since I was a kid, he's so determined to catch Peter and you gotta admire that, even after he's failed SO MANY TIMES.

10. Voldemort from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: because this list would just not be complete without him. I mean, there's so much evil, but I love that we get to see so much of his backstory and I cannot imagine a world without these stories in it and he's such a huge part of that!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pull Jana Out of Her Reading Slump!!

Ok. So basically I just finished my most anticipated novel of 2016 over the weekend and I don't know what to do with myself. The book was A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. Have you heard of it? :P It was positively AMAZING, and my reading life is now over until the next book comes out. I knew this was going to happen. I KNEW IT. I even put off reading it for as long as I could because this same thing happened to me last year with A Court of Thorns and Roses and my slump lasted about 9 months.

I hate reading slumps. I'm so depressed the book is over, I miss the world, I miss the characters, I miss the writing style. What book will ever make me feel better!?! I feel like such a bad reader. lol. I started another book, something totally different, in the hopes of moving on and I'm just reading words but not absorbing them. It's like going on a date with someone after breaking up with the love of your life. Like seriously, what am I even doing!? I thought maybe I should find something new to watch on Netflix and just own up to my inability to read for a little while, but my Goodreads goal is taunting me in my dreams. Plus I want to keep reading because I love it! 

So I need help, guys. All the help. Tell me what to read to get over this and I will DO IT. I'm in the mood for another awesome fantasy, a creepy gothic romance, or a mystery/thriller. Maybe something atmospheric that feels very autumn and Halloween (but no paranormal or supernatural because I'm the chickeniest chicken ever). So you can get to know me and my reading tastes, I'm linking my favorites list on Goodreads
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