Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Books Read
Reached - Allie Condie
Geek Girl - Holly Smale
Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
I Take You - Eliza Kennedy (review)
Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King (review)
Shakespeare's Champion - Charlaine Harris
Yes Please - Amy Poehler

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have already seen these, but I made Quinn a Rapunzel dress for her doll and got two of the seven TMNT hats I'm making done.

Quinn and I set out about 6am to get free donuts from Krispy Kreme and Dunkin on National Donut Day (June 5th) but then our car broke down. My (step)dad saved us and we still got donuts (not free ones, but better than nothing). And the car finally got fixed, for free since it was under warranty!

We got out the sprinkler (Hello Kitty, natch) and have been outside quite a few times to play since it's getting hotter and hotter. I've had WAY more bug bites than acceptable and Quinn better appreciate this because I am NOT an outdoor person. At all.

This popped up on Facebook and cracks me up. Feel free to leave yours below, my current one is: "I don't think we can still go with him anyway, but it's up to be able to drive?"

For Father's Day we got my (step)dad tickets to see Jurassic World in 3D and it was awesome.

I'm not sure what's going on with my hand.
 Quinn and I went to the park a time or two. She loves playing with other little kids, but dang if this park didn't have the rudest kids and moms that day.

I also have to share this delicious dessert I had.

And last, but not least, I watched the first two seasons of Orange is the New Black. I'm slightly obsessed and it's ridiculous.

I think Red's my fave.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Three Mini Reviews

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress is a great book. Susan Jane Gilman grew up in New York City as a Christmas-celebrating-Jew in the 70's and 80's. The book tells different stories of Susan growing up and there are quite a few funny ones, but also some with pretty good lessons. The part that stuck with me the most was a quote on page 144, "No matter what kind of figure you had, someone always felt compelled to dream up some sort of asinine and degrading nickname for you." which is just so true. I can't think of anybody who hasn't been made fun of for something. There are a few different stories throughout the book where Susan is made fun of, but she learns how to deal. I can't wait to read her other books.

I enjoy Stephen King's books and the movies based on his books, but this one wasn't my favorite. I'm not sure if it's because there wasn't a supernatural element (I prefer my murderous beings to be non-existent in real life, less nightmares that way) or if the story was just lacking something. Mr. Mercedes is about an ex-cop who gets a letter from the perpetrator of an unsolved case. He does what all ex-cops in murder mysteries do and tries to solve it himself. The reader is told who Mr. Mercedes is fairly early on, so the only mystery was if/when/how he would be caught and how he managed to get away with everything. It was a good, albeit disturbing, read, but I'm not going to rush to read the others in the series.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was only my second audiobook ever and it was so good! (One complaint though, the random "spooky" music throughout the book. Not a fan.) It's a slightly new take on the vampire trope. When you get bit you turn "cold" and if you ingest human blood before the cold is out of your system (88 days, I think it was) then you turn into a vampire. Tana is the main character and is trying to transport her friend and a vampire to a Coldtown, which is where those who get infected are quarantined with vampires. I don't want to give much away, so all I'll say is that it was good. If you enjoy YA vampire or fantasy books, I'd recommend it. And the audiobook is read by Christine Lakin (aka Al from Step by Step) and her voice and accents are great.

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress was read for Semi-Charmed's Book Challenge (on TBR for over 2 years), Literary Ladies (on TBR for over 1 year), a bingo challenge my aunt is doing (over 10 years old), and the TBR list challenge.
Mr. Mercedes was read for Semi-Charmed's Book Challenge (Goodreads Best Book 2014), my aunt's bingo (best seller), my library's 100 year challenge, and the TBR list challenge.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was read for Semi-Charmed's Book Challenge (freebie), my library's 100 year challenge, and the TBR list challenge.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pretend it's 2006

I saw this both on Facebook and on Erin's blog and sometimes I miss MySpace and Xanga, so I figured I'd fill it out too.

Age 25, but I'll be 26 in August
Biggest fear Something bad happening to Quinn, or to me and Jarrod so Quinn would be alone
Current time 9:48 am CST
Drink you last had Coffee with sweetener and vanilla creamer
Easiest person to talk to My mom
Favorite song Currently "Honey I'm Good" by Andy Grammer
Grossest memory Quinn was asleep on my chest (she was only a few months old) and I saw a large spider crawling across the floor. She let me lay her down and I used a magazine to pick up the spider and took it to the toilet. When I plopped it in the toilet a million little babies floated off it's back.
Hometown Wichita, KS
In love with Jarrod, duh
Jealous of People who have so much money and don't have to do anything for it.
Killed someone Uh, no. Who would even answer that in a survey like this?
Longest relationship Jarrod and I have been together for 8 and a half years

Middle name Lynn
Number of siblings 1 brother, 1 sister, 2 step-sisters, 1 step-brother, 3 sisters-in-law, 2 step-brothers-in-law, 1 step-sister-in-law (although I haven't met two of the step in-laws and I refer to my steps just as sisters/brother)
One wish For Jarrod to have a job that pays well enough (doesn't have to be excessive) but to where he doesn't feel like quitting every day
Person you last called I had to check my phone, it was Jarrod, of course
Question you're always asked Hmm, probably something about whether we're going to have more kids or not (The answer is it's none of anybody's business, and no we're not)
Reason to live Quinn is the main one, but there are plenty
Song you last sang A Sailor Went to Sea (sea sea, to see what he could see see see, but all that he could see see see, was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea)
Time you woke up 6:40am ish
Underwear color Yellow
Vacation destination Lawrence-ish, hopefully
Worst habit Nail biting
X-rays you've had Hmm, teeth obviously. I think I've probably had my wrist(s) and ankle/foot x-rayed at least once.
Your favorite food Japanese or Italian
Zodiac sign I've always thought it was Leo, but depending on which thing you look at (I don't know how they work, I don't really believe in it) I could be Cancer. The older I get, the less Leo I am.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I DO NOT Take You

I received this book from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are my own.

Fair warning, this might get a little ranty. And a little spoilery because it's hard to rant about the book without revealing what it's about. Read this review at your own risk. I could say the same about the book, to be honest. Also, I really don't enjoy writing bad reviews because I know how much effort the author had to have put into a book and how it can be like a baby to them. So, I just also want to throw out a huge sorry to Eliza Kennedy, although I'm almost hoping she won't see this.

The first line of the synopsis is "Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer extraordinaire, blushing bride. And totally incapable of being faithful to one man." I'm not sure if I didn't read that before requesting the book or just didn't think that the infidelity would start ON THE SECOND PAGE. And it's not like she's falling in love with other people, she's just sleeping around for the pure heck of it. Later in the book there's some psycho babble about how women and men are conditioned to have different feelings about sex and you're damned if you like it and damned if you don't and blah blah blah, but seriously. Cheating is wrong, which Lily doesn't seem to understand. Except that she hides it from her fiance, so obviously she KNOWS.

She sleeps with and/or makes out with a few randos at bars. She sleeps with her BOSS in his office. With her fiance's BOSS at the hotel where they're getting married. And attempts to sleep with his best friend in the same place, but he's a better person than almost everybody else in this book. Possibly the one and only character who didn't cheat and/or help someone cheat. Because it's still cheating if you're single and you know the other person isn't.

I really wanted to quit this book because I couldn't stand ANY of the characters. Lily's fiance, Will, seemed decent but still wasn't likable. He was a very flat character, until the end where everything just explodes into idiocy. There was *something big* in Lily's past that kept getting slightly mentioned, but not revealed. It reminded me of vaguebooking instead of foreshadowing/suspenseful like a book should be.

Luckily the last third of the book went by a lot quicker, but made about the same amount of sense. James and Sandra, that I mention in my Goodreads progress, are only in the book for a scene and a half and they're also pretty much the only decent people. They're into threesomes, whatever floats your boat, but they're honest about it and not cheating on each other. And they're super nice to Lily.

Oh, I almost forgot a part of the book I did like. When Lily wasn't acting ridiculous, she was being a really good lawyer. I loved the deposition scene that she had to handle on her own, with a little help from her grandma. I'd read a book about Lawyer Lily.

So, if you like lawyers who sleep around and lots of lies and other characters who cheat and also a lot of hypocrisy, then this book is for you. Bah. I did give it 2/5 stars because at least I finished it and it wasn't the worst book I ever read. I would rather read this again rather than have to read Lord of the Flies again. Now THAT is the worst book that I've finished.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Challenge Updates

I've written about books I've read in my monthly updates and a few reviews, but I haven't written about how I'm doing in the (too many) reading challenges so I figured I'd compile it all in one place.

Century Book Club: our library is 100 years old this year so anybody who reads 100 books throughout the year will be eligible to win prizes. I'm at 27 so far.

I Love Library Challenge: Most of my books come from the library, so any that are from the library will have a * next to them in the other lists. I have 19 so far.

A Midsummer Night's Scream - RL Stine (Unless you're a huge RL Stine fan, who has to read everything he writes, I'd skip this one. I expected more plot and less holes from someone who's such a famous writer. And it wasn't even scary!)

TBR Reading Challenge: I know there are a couple of these, but the one I signed up for was through Evie. Also a lot of these on other lists, they'll have a ^.
*Althea and Oliver - Cristina Moracho
Blood Orchids - Toby Neal
Choose Your Own Autobiography - Neil Patrick Harris
*Crossed and *Reached - Ally Condie
*Dash & Lily's Book of Dares - Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
*Pretty in Plaid - Jen Lancaster (audiobook)
The Good Girl - Mary Kubica (my first audiobook, I'd highly recommend it)
*The Ruby Circle - Richelle Mead (I'm so sad this series is over!)

Erin's Book Challenge (She has another one starting in July if you're interested!)
*^ Jeneration X - Jen Lancaster
*^ Peeps - Scott Westerfeld
^ Shakespeare's Landlord - Charlaine Harris
*^ White Cat - Holly Black

Semi-Charmed Kind of Life's Winter 2014/2015 Reading Challenge:
*^ I Was Told There'd Be Cake -Sloan Crosley
*^ Matched - Ally Condie
*^ The Thirteenth Tale -Diane Setterfield
The Bat - Jo NesbΓΈ
Jeneration X and Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks were for this challenge as well.

Semi-Charmed Kind of Life's Summer 2015 Reading Challenge:
*^ Dead Guy's Stuff - Sharon Fiffer

No Challenge:
The Marauders - Tom Cooper (review here)

That was a lot of text, but I just wanted to get them organized. Here's a picture of me holding the letter L from kindergarten.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

May 2015

Lo siento por no escribir para un mes. Also, sorry for that being in Spanish. I'm not fluent, but sometimes my brain does weird things.

We saw Avengers: Age of Ultron because Marvel. Jarrod's a HUGE Batman fan, but he's very mad at all (more or less) of the decisions DC has made regarding their movies, which is nice for me because he will see all the Marvel things with me. We still haven't watched the season finale of Agents of SHIELD, though. I'm just waiting for a weekend since Jarrod goes to bed early since he has to get up early for work. Related, one of my Mother's Day presents was a Captain America bobblehead keychain.

A photo posted by Breenah (@bybreenah) on

In other Marvel news, I learned this month that Agent Carter is coming back and I'm so freaking excited for it.

I read The Marauders (review here), Dead Guy's Stuff (if you like mysteries that don't have lots of gore and estate sales, I'd recommend this series), Crossed, and listened to Pretty in Plaid (I love Jen Lancaster). I started, and got 3/4 of the way through, Fangirl but then had to return it to the library and haven't gotten to check it out again to finish.

One of the most fun things I did in May was pattern test for Call Ajaire. The pattern can be a romper, a jumpsuit, or a dress with either knee or maxi length. So far I've only made the romper, but I'm thinking of doing the jumpsuit in the fabric Quinn picked out. Princesses, of course. The pattern isn't released yet, but I'll make sure to let you all know when it is! For now you can check out #paneledsunsuit on Instagram to see other testers' versions.

She'll shake her little tush on the catwalk.
Quinn told her first joke on May 5th. The best part is that she didn't even realize how funny it was because she doesn't know there IS an Apple store.
Where do the banana people walk? To the apple store!
We went to my youngest sister's end of the year choir concert and Quinn was mostly upset because she couldn't see her Aunt Jess. My sister is SHORT (she's my step-sister, so that's how I'm 5'10" and she's not even 5') and they had her in the back row for at least one of the songs. Quinn would like a word with that director.

My mom graduated with her Associate's and I'm SO FREAKING proud of her. She worked two jobs, did school, and STILL made time for her husband, kids, and grandkids. Ridiculous. I think she needs a vacation *hinthint*dad*hinthint*. I don't know why I added that. He doesn't read my blog.

Jarrod's best friend (who now lives in Michigan) came into town with his fiance and daughter and we went to the zoo and out to dinner. Quinn warmed up to him and wound up playing with him, I was shocked considering her history with not liking guys.

You probably saw Time's "What would your name be today?" thing floating around Facebook. If we were born today I would be Eliana, Jarrod would be Cash, and Quinn would be Michelle. I loved looking at all the names through the decades.

Jarrod and I went on a date night to a new (to us) place. They had happy hour (half price cocktails) til 6 and I managed to order three before they went back to full price. Probably should have stuck with two, oops.

Pretzels with queso, some kind of coffee cocktail, and some kind of fruity cocktail.

To die for fish tacos, Jarrod's ginormous burger, and the best apple pie pizza ever.
I dyed my hair pink, this time more of a neon than I was expecting. I love it.

And at the end of the month we went to the Riverfest parade. Quinn loves it and we had tons of fun, but I'm so glad it came because it meant May was OVER. There was so much in this month (as you can see) plus babysitting my nephew and my dad was in town from Georgia for two weeks. I'm really hoping June is a little more calm.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Marauders by Tom Cooper

I received this book from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are my own.

I'm not going to lie, when I first saw The Marauders by Tom Cooper on Blogging for Books I thought it might have something to do with Harry Potter. It doesn't, but it still sounded interesting. It's about life for about eight men after Katrina and the BP oil spill. This isn't something I would usually choose, but I figure I have to read something other than YA every now and then.

After the BP oil spill in the Gulf coast the people who made a living shrimping find themselves in trouble. The horrible circumstances mark the beginning of a lot of bad decisions. There isn't really a main character, but all the stories center around Gus Lindquist. He's a one-armed, pill-addicted treasure hunter. He comes across a set of criminal twins, an insurance agent who hates his own ties to the Gulf, a father and son who lost their wife/mother in Hurricane Katrina, and a couple of men trying to make money the easy way. As the story goes along the stories all intertwine, which was possibly the most interesting part of the book.

I definitely don't think I would have picked this book up by myself. I don't tend to read books with the POV of males, I don't read realistic fiction usually, and I don't usually read stuff set now. All three of those things are how this book is written, so it's no surprise that I wasn't a big fan.

The book is really well written. Tom Cooper is a great author, so if this book sounds like something you'd like I'd highly recommend it. On the other hand, it got boring at some points and none of the characters are particularly strong in the area of common sense which is just hard to read sometimes.

It definitely wasn't as action packed as I was expecting it to be, but it's definitely not the worst thing I've read (or anywhere near it). A solid 3/5 stars.


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