Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wanna Read with Me?

So after finishing The Host on Tuesday, I spent some time in my library, my office...standing in front of my bookshelf trying to figure out what book to read next. So, I glanced at my summer reading list and my next book popped off the page..

Maybe it's because I work at a law office, or maybe its because I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, but it seems like this book is reeling me in!

So, if you're in a reading mood, then join me in reading The Appeal. If you have ever read John Grisham, then you know that you won't be disappointed.

The Host

Well I finished The Host by Stephenie Meyer last night and I was SAD! This book was so good that I didn't want it to end!

I will say that after reading the inside cover and reading the first couple of chapters, I wasn't even sure that I wanted to read the book - its sci-fi...and I don't really read sci-fi. But this is certainly sci-fi for those who hate sci-fi!

The first few chapters are background info...its the stuff you need to make everything else make sense. But one you get into the story and love triangle (actually a love square), then it is really fabulous.

If you are anything like me and love a good love story - this book is for you! Great plot, great writing, great reading, great emotion and great ending! However, the author does leave the ending a little open so that she can come back and write a sequel if she wants to ...and I certainly hope she does!!!

Here are a few reviews from Review

Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: Stephenie Meyer, creator of the phenomenal teen-vamp Twilight series, takes paranormal romance into alien territory in her first adult novel. Those wary of sci-fi or teen angst will be pleasantly surprised by this mature and imaginative thriller, propelled by equal parts action and emotion. A species of altruistic parasites has peacefully assumed control of the minds and bodies of most humans, but feisty Melanie Stryder won't surrender her mind to the alien soul called Wanderer. Overwhelmed by Melanie's memories of fellow resistor Jared, Wanderer yields to her body's longing and sets off into the desert to find him. Likely the first love triangle involving just two bodies, it's unabashedly romantic, and the characters (human and alien) genuinely endearing. Readers intrigued by this familiar-yet-alien world will gleefully note that the story's end leaves the door open for a sequel--or another series. --Mari Malcolm

From Publishers Weekly

In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a soul called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert. When the pair find Melanie's brother and her boyfriend in a hidden rebel cell led by her uncle, Wanderer is at first hated. Once the rebels accept Wanderer, whom they dub Wanda, Wanda's whole perspective on humanity changes. While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue, especially when a love triangle (or quadrangle?!) develops for Wanda/Melanie.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Fives

Today, Beth at Just Me and My Life is having Friday Fives. Just for fun, I thought I would participate. Today's random questions:

1. If given a choice to skip work for a day, how would you spend the entire day?

I would lay out by one of these...

With a lot of these...

2.If you could start fresh, what profession would you choose?

I would teach high school students...either literature or political science.

3.What is your favorite candy or candy bar?

This is definitely a tie between Peanut Butter M&M's and Snickers with Almonds!

4.Have your ever ordered anything from an infomercial or bought an"As seen on TV item"?

5. Whats the movie you ALWAYS cry at??

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Life is Twilight

So ya'll know I love Twilight - the movies, the books - everything! Now no - I don't consider myself a Twi-hard because I'm not that fanatical...but I still do love Twilight.

However, anticipating the release of Eclipse, I am doing the chapter countdown with Twilight Series Theories. (If you have never been to this website - it is awesome. I actually went to DBU with one of the sisters that helped create it!) Since Eclipse has 27 chapters, they started at the beginning of the month and are reading a chapter a day.

Well today in my morning read of MLIA (see my post about it here), I saw that there is actually a site called MLIT - My Life is Twilight. So of course I sauntered over to read through a few. Some of them are just stupid, in my ever so twilighted-opinion, but some are HYSTERICAL!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Today my boyfriend touched my face, and for the fisrt time i didn't flinch at how cold his hands were. He looked at me and said............"your pretending i'm Edward aren't you?" I blushed as we both knew it was true. I can officially say MLIT!!!!

Today, I was half naked and getting dressed when my Edward cutout (which I bought on one of my frequent trips to Forks) fell on top of me. Instead of pushing it off, I exclaimed, "Oh Edward! Not this early!" Then my mother walked in and took him out of my room saying, "its for my own good." MLIT

Today I overheard two guys talking in Science, one of them asked, "How old are you?", the guy then responded, "Seventeen." I quickly turned around and asked, "How long have you been seventeen?" The two guys stared at me in utter confusion. My best friend backed me up by responding, "A while." MLIT.

Today, my mom and I were driving home when we passed a doctors office. The sign said "Dr. Cullen MD. But Dont Worry, I Don't Bite." LMAO. MLIT. :)

Today, this guy was asking me for relationship advice. Friends and I were telling him what to do, and he just couldn't understand. Finally I said, "YOU ARE HER JACOB" and he gave me this horrified look and I knew he understood, Twilight is now my inspiration for relationship advice. MLIT

Today, my boyfriend told me he loved me and I smiled but didn't reply. He waited a few seconds before saying "Say it." I just smiled. Then he said "Outloud." I smiled a bit more and whispered "Vampire.". I'm not going to lie, it caused an argument. MLIT.

And just to, I have not called my husband Edward and I have not asked him to bit; whether or not I have dreamed of it is another story!!! HAHAHA

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bitter is the New Black

So I just finished reading Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, egomaniacal, self-centered smart-ass, or why you should never carry a Prada bag to the unemployment office, by Jen Lancaster! This book can simply be described in one word: HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know that I have ever laughed out loud so many times from a book!!!

Here is Amazon's description of the book:
"Jen Lancaster was living the sweet life-until real life kicked her to the curb.

She had the perfect man, the perfect job-hell, she had the perfect life-and there was no reason to think it wouldn't last. Or maybe there was, but Jen Lancaster was too busy being manicured, pedicured, highlighted, and generally adored to notice.

This is the smart-mouthed, soul-searching story of a woman trying to figure out what happens next when she's gone from six figures to unemployment checks and she stops to reconsider some of the less-than-rosy attitudes and values she thought she'd never have to answer for when times were good.

Filled with caustic wit and unusual insight, it's a rollicking read as speedy and unpredictable as the trajectory of a burst balloon. "

Just for fun, here are a few of my favorite quotes throughout the book!

"Perhaps my first mistake was taking financial advice from a book titled Confessions of a Shopaholic." Chapter 3

"Because I'm not a deadbeat. I'm not about to suck on the government's teat. For crying out loud, I'm a Republican. They'd kick me out of the party if I went on welfare." Chapter 4

"Maisy, this sucks. I have no Cadillac, no esthetician services, no Vegas trip, no tan, and no damn job. My life is a country music song." Chapter 6

"I complain. A Lot. Be particularly cautious if I am hungry, hot or tired. God have mercy on your soul if I am all three!" Chapter 6

"Mom, we're going to Las Vegas. They have EVERYTHING there, ok? I could call the concierge and request a crack pipe and a thirteen-year-old male prostitute, and both would be delivered to the room within the hour." Chapter 6

"My mother and I both lack the internal firewall that keeps us from saying almost everything we think" Chapter 6 - this is hilarious mainly because this runs in my family as well!

"You can insult my parentage, intelligence, or taste but you DO NOT say disparaging things about my dogs!" Chapter 7 - this is SOOO true!!!

All of this to say, if you need a fun, quick read (and don't mind a some language here and there), this is a great book! I'm out the door to purchase the rest of Jen Lancaster's books!

Proposal Story

Today at Kelly's Korner, everyone is sharing their proposal stories.

My proposal story happened on Valentine's Day, 2007. Brant and I had been dating for about a year and a half, and I knew this was the man I would marry. We had talked about a summer wedding because he knew I didn't want to get married in the fall or winter (only because we already have too many birthday and family "stuff" during that time) and I certainly didn't want to wait until next spring.

Well the night before Valentine's Day, I remember us being on the phone and Brant told me that he didn't know when I would get my wedding. He had planned to buy an engagement ring with his tax return, but he didn't know how big his return would be or when he would get it. So I spent most of the night in tears...but he promised me that he WOULD marry me one day.

So for Valentine's Day, we had plans just to go to dinner, so I told him that I would meet him at his apartment after work. So as soon as I got there, he asked if I was ready for my present, and I told him yes. So he asked me to sit down in the chair and close my eyes. I felt something heavy in my hands, and when he told me to open my eyes, there was a beautiful leather bound Bible with Ashley Williams engraved on it. Well, Williams is of course my married name, so at the time, I was Ashley Wages. Brant told me to open my new Bible to 1 Corinthians, chapter 13. There, tied to the small satin bookmark was a beautiful diamond solitaire.

If Brant were describing this story, he would tell you that it was at that moment that I turned into Niagara Falls. He then pulled me to my feet, untied the ring, and on one knee, asked me to be his wife.

The rest is simply history. We were married 5 short months later and I was able to have my summer wedding. In July, Brant and I will celebrate 3 years of marriage. It seems like we had our first date just yesterday. Well, I guess we'll see what the next 50 years holds!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

East of Eden

Well I just finished East of Eden, an incredibly novel by John Steinbeck.


Throughout my reading, I wasn't always thrilled with the story line and sometimes I got confused, but there was something that kept me turning the page. This book my made my mind think about things I had never thought of before - of my faith, of my choices, of my will. The message of this book is one of the most powerful that I have ever read, although I didn't realize it until the last page, literally.

The story follows the history of two families: the Hamiltons and the Trasks. This story is 601 pages of good versus evil, and right versus wrong; it is 601 pages of love; it is 601 pages of blindness, betrayal and deceit.

This is John Steinbeck at his best! J and S Books says this:

"East of Eden is described as the classic Cain and Abel story replayed. The conflict of brothers is powerful in both generations. The Biblical story itself plays an important role in the novel. Yet East of Eden doesn't end the same as the original story in the Bible. Plus this novel takes the story further, showing the effects on the people around the brothers as well.

This is a masterful book, complex, and layered. The characters stay with you when you close the cover. After I finished it, I kept going back and re-reading different parts. The tone of the book is determined when Samuel, Lee, and Adam discuss the meaning of the wording of the original Cain and Abel story. That section needs re-read numerous times to get the full impact both of that scene and on the whole book.

East of Eden is considered one of John Steinbeck's greatest works. ... This is a longer, deep novel. It is worth every page of reading. Prepare to meet real people that you will respect, disregard, like and dislike depending on the circumstances - just like the people we know every day."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finally Finished!!!

If you have been to my house in the past 6 months, then you might have noticed that there was no table in my formal living room. As soon as the holidays were over, we decided to paint our formal dining room table black so that it would coordinate with all the other black tables in the living room (because the formal dining is open to the living room).

This is the living room. This table has been in house since I can remember, and my mom and dad gave it to Brant and I when we got married because they got a new one. I think its awesome that my kids can grow up with the same table as I did...and who knows...maybe they'll have it in their house one day too. But this is what the table looked like before.

So after 6 months of the table being the in garage, it was stripped, sanded, primed, sanded, painted, stained, and finally got put back where it belongs!!!!!

I am really thrilled with the way it turned out! And whole room looks great! Yes, there are few bumps and scratches, but that's just a part of it having some personality!

Now, my biggest issue right now is the centerpiece! I originally wanted something completely new, but then I put the candles back in the middle and I love the way the red tones pop off the black surface.

What do you think??? Leave the candles, or something new????

Well, I hope you like the new table as much as I do!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

Saturday evening, I made some great chicken enchiladas for Sunday lunch. This recipe was excellent because you can make it, then refrigerate until you're ready to bake them! It is of course from Cooking Light and they were absolutely delicious...and much easier than I anticipated!!! Even with the cheese on top, its less than 500 calories a serving!

Give it a try, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!!!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

An Evening with the Williams

Well if you've ever wanted to know what goes on at the Williams house any given weekday evening, then this is the post for you! FYI - we're pretty boring!!!!!!!

I typically leave my office around 6:10 or 6:15 - that way most of the traffic is off the roads and I'll be home in 40 minutes. I usually start dinner as soon as I get home...usually something from one of these magazines.

Last night, we had grilled chicken with this bacon macaroni and cheese (click the link for the recipe)! It was delicious. Brant hates boxed mac'n'cheese because his mom always made it from scratch...well mine didn't! (but I still love you mom!). So, I recently promised Brant and I would find a good recipe for mac'n'cheese, and I think I found it last night! Now, the actual recipe called for chicken in it, but since I was grilling some chicken breasts, I just left the chicken out. It was really, really good!

As soon as we finish dinner, there is usually a baseball game on, and at the Williams house, if the Texas Rangers are playing, then we are watching!

However, sometimes I will sneak outside to do this while Brant is watching the game. East of Eden is GREAT so far. I love having our little patio set.

And that's pretty much at night at the Williams. I warned you - we're pretty boring, but we like it that way!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Reading

Well I'm not sure if I can finish all of these books this summer, but here is the start to my summer reading list. Yes, you will notice some classics, some legal and of course, some Stephanie Meyer! But this is also not the entire list...I still have about 5 or 6 more books that are being added!

But, without further delay, here is the Summer Reading list of 2010...thus far!

If you would like to read with me, or follow along with the book I am currently reading, just look at the left of my blog and I'll post the book I'm currently reading.