Friday, December 28, 2012

Best of 2012

So my goal this year was to read 75 books.  Unfortunately I am on #60 and there is only three days left in the year.  Maybe next year.  Regardless I have read a lot of wonderful books this year and want to share the ones that made the most impact on me.  So in no particular order here is my list of the best of 2012:

1. Across the Universe/ A Million Suns
  Awesome Science Fiction/Mystery. Can't wait for the final book Shades of Earth.
2. The Fault in Our Stars
This book is so amazing I don't even know where to begin.

3. If I Stay/ Where She Went

Great contemporary. Loved the sequel even more than the first.
4. Divergent/ Insurgent

Action packed awesome. Plus Four ranks a 10 on the literary hotness scale.

5. Cinder

Cyborg Cinderella. That's really all you need to know. I loved it.

6. Code Name Verity

Simply Amazing. Left me sobbing in the car on a family road trip. Words don't to it justice.
7. For the Darkness Shows the Stars

Made me want to read Austen's original. Love this story interspersed with letters.
8. Princess Academy: Palace of Stone

The brilliant sequel that was the worth the many years waiting. Still love Miri and Peder.
9. The Diviners

Love the 1920's setting and Naughty John truly scared me.
10. Days of Blood and Starlight

Yes. A million times yes. So different from the first book but loved it just as much.
11. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Read it in one evening. Perfect balance of everything you might want in a contemporary.
12. Unspoken

Great cast of characters and a fabulous plot. Not to mention a heart wrenching ending.
13. Everneath

I absolutely love greek myths and this retelling is excellent. Plus it takes place in Utah.
14. Tiger Lily

Hesitant at first, but came to love it in the end. A wonderful Peter Pan retelling.
15. Black Heart

Great ending to a fabulous series.

I was going to stop at 12, but there were just so many wonderful books released this year.  I also know that I missed some of the best ones so they are on my TBR pile beginning with Shadow and Bone.

Also some of the books that didn't make the list because they weren't released this year or are rereads that I highly recommend

Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door
13 Little Blue Envelopes/The Last Little Blue Envelop/The Name of the Star
Anything by Tamora Pierce (I read something of her's every year)
The Night Circus
The Book Thief (If you haven't read this...READ IT NOW!)
A Monster Calls

So there's more than plenty book recommendations to keep anyone busy reading.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Loving YA

Why do I love YA?

Because YA is who I am.  Not literally, but figuratively.  I relate to the stories.  YA touches me and teaches me things that I can't get from any other type of writing.  It was there for me when I was a teenager and has stuck with me as I have transitioned to what is supposedly adulthood.  The truth is that YA books will be there with me during every step on my journey.  They are the stories that I turn to in every instance.  Some books I continually go back to and reread time and time again.  Others I may only read once but they will undoubtedly leave some sort of mark.  I often think that if I were to peel back my skin underneath would not be muscle and blood, but words and ink.  Most of the words that make up who I am come from YA.  Some of those words are my own just waiting to be written.  Regardless they make me who I am.  I love YA because it speaks to me and will continue to speak to me throughout my life.  This is just one of the many reasons why I love YA.

"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."
C.S. Lewis

The truth is I am one of those girls that never grew old enough to stop reading what I love.  And I hope I never do.

And because not only is YA amazing, but also the authors.  The fabulous Beth Revis is doing an wonderful giveaway at her website linked below.  Continue to share the love of YA.
Share the Love of YA

There's Always Tomorrow...There's Always Today

I haven't written a blog post in over a year.  Obviously I failed at 2011's resolutions and blogging in general.  Today though I am recommitting myself to writing and reading.  Today is the day I make this declaration.  From today forward this blog will document my journey through writing, reading, and life in general.  Someone out there in the vast universe may see this and ask why today?  And the answer is  why not today.  There is no better time then the present.  So here are my random November Resolutions:

1. Write Often
          ~This mean's more than once a week
          ~Also in various places including this blog
2. Read
          ~Technically I already have this goal taken care of seeing as I have read over 50 books this year, but I am still going to put it down.
3. Write About What I Read
           ~Reactions, What I like, What I don't,
           ~The good, bad, and amazingly awesome
4. Live Life
           ~Self Explanatory

That is all I am posting here, but it is to hold myself accountable to myself.  And best wishes to a New November with new goals

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Books Glorious Books

Books.  I love books.  Since I can remember I have had a love for stories.  I can't recall the first real book I read.  Most likely I can't remember because the written word is part of my very being.  Fairytales were probably some of the first stories I heard and they still influence my life today.  Often my father would come in at bed time to tell me a fairytale, and then I would fall asleep dreaming of giant beanstalks, talking wolves, and enchantments of all sorts.  I believe if I were to try and distill the pure essence of myself, a good portion of that would be made up of all the many stories and books that have influenced my life.  I cannot live without the written word.  To do so would cripple me just as surely as hacking off one of my limbs.  Reading is my outlet.  It is a way in which I can immerse myself in facets of life that I would otherwise not experience.  The written word gives me the ability to expand my vocabulary and in doing so give me more ability to express myself and my ideas.  Ideas that stem from the amount of written word that I consume.  This is why I love books.  They are such an integral part of who I am.  Sometimes I wonder if I truly am just words.  I wouldn't be the least surprised if I were to shed my skin and instead of bone, muscle, and sinew I found words.  All the many words that I have ever read, heard, or thought.  These words would be so tightly packed and interwoven that they themselves would make up my inner frame.  Who knows maybe I don't have muscles, but only cleverly intertwined masses of words that work together to create me.  If this were the case I probably have a whole arm woven entirely of Harry Potter.  My love for the written word is a part of what drives me as a human being and also the reason for this post.  I have taken the challenge of dedicating a blog post to a specific book that I am grateful for.  Those who know me, also know I would sooner pick a favorite star in the sky then pick a favorite book.  That being said there are MANY books that inspire me and here is one of my favorites.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

A friend suggested the book to me in jr. high and from the moment I read it I fell in love.  I fell in love with the characters how they have such strength and yet learn to overcome their weaknesses.  I was drawn in by the way in which a forgotten fairytale which I knew was suddenly brought to life fuller and more magical then before.  The depth and realness of the setting astounded me.  To this day I annually go back and travel the road to Bayern with Ani.  I feel the hurt of her betrayal and marvel at the strength it took for her to overcome the trials set in her life.  Along her journey I continue to fall in love with everything within the story from the quiet forest boys to the dashing young gentleman who comes to her pasture.  I am so grateful for this story because it draws me in, takes me on a journey, and then leaves me listening to the wind for weeks to come.  Somedays I still listen with all my heart to the wind hoping that maybe one day it will speak to me and then just maybe it will bring with it the image of a golden-haired girl in a gorgeous green pasture surrounded by geese.  This is why this book inspires me because it still leaves me with the lingering sense of magic woven by the tale even days after the last page has turned.

Sorry for the extremely long post, but remember I love words.  And the amazingly awesome reason for this post besides my love of books is this fantabulous contest put on by the wonderful, creative, fantastical author Beth Revis.  And here is a link to the contest/her blog which is awesome to read. Seriously.  Awesome doesn't even begin to describe her. -win19

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fabulous Fall Break

I have been off school for an entire week and decided to pack it full with as many fun adventures as possible.  This is the first time I actually went somewhere for break and didn't spend my time doing nothing of significance.  So to begin the chronicling of my adventures.

It began last saturday by spending the day catching up with my old roommate and baking a ginormous, ugly, but delicious cupcake.  We frosted it too soon and so it started melting, despite its ugly duckling appearance it tasted great.
We added the straws to complete the ugliness

I spent sunday relaxing and monday running a bunch of errands before going to work.  Luckily I got out of work early and headed down to spend quality time with my brothers for the night.  Come Tuesday morning I packed up and headed south for a little road trip to good old St. George, UT.  The first thing I did when I got there was order myself a fabulous pina colada bubble tea.  What's bubble tea you ask? Why only the most fantastic drink ever! It is pretty much a slushy type drink with big tapioca balls/bubbles in the bottom and you drink it with a huge straw so that you get the bubbles.  It looks like this.

After my bubble tea stop I headed to my grandpa's.  He took me to see a intense game of pickleball.  Of which I had never heard of.  Apparently its very poplar especially with retired people.  Its kinda of like ping-pong but played on a tennis court with a larger ball.  Interesting to watch, but still no one could answer the pressing question of why the game was named after pickles.  The world may never know.  We had a delicious dinner out and then spent the night playing card games.

Wednesday I woke up extremely early and drove to Las Vegas to drop my grandpa off at the airport.  I then spent a wonderful day in Las Vegas with my mom.  Our adventures began by wandering the various hotels with a croissant in one hand and a diet pepsi in the other.  I hadn't seen most of the hotels and loved seeing all the artwork and various architecture.  We spent the morning browsing the hotels and then the shops.  We ate delicious chocolate from some place and it was a heavenly experience to be sure.  I also was able to see tons of amazing cakes!  Someday I plan on being an amazing cake decorator, the cupcake above is not to be used as evidence to the contrary.  After a quick lunch we took a lovely nap by the beautiful venetian pool.  Then we drove back to St. George to see The Little Mermaid.  This show was the whole reason for the road trip and it was fabulous! The entire production was superb and I loved every minute of it.  I even came away with a super awesome little mermaid cup that is now my prized possession.  Seriously though I think I ought to be a mermaid, before or after becoming an amazing cake decorator I am not to picky the timing of events.  Here are a few photos of my adventure.
Me in front of...I have no idea where I am actually

The amazing Bellagio ceiling of glass

The Bellagio had an area full of plants in autumn festive shapes.
These are horses if you can see them.

A cool water mill 

More of the beautiful plants.  At which time my camera decided 
to take an unpaid vacation because it hates me.  So no more cool Las Vegas pics.

Thursday morning it was sadly time to pack up and get home to Salt Lake City.  On my way out of town I of course stopped and got another bubble tea.  Have I mentioned how much I simply love bubble tea?  The trip home was uneventful and then it was off to teach my amazing ballet classes.  We started their christmas dance and I hope it turns out well.  My weekend since has consisted of chemistry demonstrations for elementary kids, relaxing, working and not much else. Also I have been totally in to doing creative things with my nails and these are the results.
These are my cool newspaper nails.  The words got a bit smudged.

This is my thumb, which I love the most because it says 
Goose Girl, which happens to be one of my favorite books.
It also says Ella from Ella Enchanted, another favorite.

And these are my current nails.  I tried out my awesome new
shatter nail polish. They look awesome.

Now I am off to bake some muffins for the upcoming week of school.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cocoa Krispies and Chaos

Sometimes I amaze myself with how random I can be.  My thought process can be especially random particularly if my roommate decides to join in on the randomness.  My last bit of random was last night.  I was planning on getting to bed before 11 because I have class at 7:30 in the morning on Thursdays.  Yet last night I found myself sitting in bed at midnight discussing with my roommate how I could fill a swimming pool with cocoa rice krispies.  Yeah, talk about random.  This discussion was prompted by the fact that my new lotion that contains cocoa butter makes me smell like I went swimming in a pool of cocoa rice krispies.  So in case you were wondering or have a dire necessity to fill a pool with cereal today here are the facts.  I started with a pool that was 4meters x 3meters x 2meters.  Meters just made the calculations easier, and hey I am a science major.  I then found it would take 6,350 gallons of milk to completely fill the pool.  Then I found that it would take 8,255 boxes of cocoa rice krispies to fill the pool.  My roommate and I discussed the perfect cereal to milk ratio and determined it to be about 2 boxes of cereal to a gallon of milk.  So when all is said and done you will need 2,167 gallons of milk and 5,503 boxes of cereal.  This will only cost you about 42,000 dollars assuming you could find an empty pool.  The result of this madness is that I fully intend to one day fill a pool with cocoa rice krispies and swim in it (even if its a kiddie pool).  Consider it added to the bucket list.  You have now had a very small glimpse into the madness/randomness that I call my mind, in which I live everyday.

On a different note, my life is crazy hectic.  Downtime is a thing of the past, with the exception of my sunday nap.  I am only taking 16 credit hours of math and science classes.  I then use my ample amounts of free time working my job at the restaurant a minimum of 3 nights a week and teaching dance once a week.  I then try and squeeze only 5-6 hours of homework in each night I am not working.  So with all my extra time I am of course initiating world peace and ending world hunger, or in reality finding a spare moment here or there to watch a movie with my roommates or read for pleasure.  Remember how I was planning on becoming a self proclaimed hermit this semester. Ha! That was the understatement of the year.  Forget being a hermit,  I just dropped off the face of the planet and have no contact with the outside world.  Ok, maybe I exaggerate a little, but only a little.  Regardless, I am really enjoying my classes for the most part, though I could do without physics homework due on saturday morning.  All in all I plan to keep on enjoying my learning experience and also getting the most out of every spare moment I get to relax.  I am mildly surprised I even found the time to write in my blog.  So long, farewell, until we meet again.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

You Know School is about to Start When...

Tomorrow I begin my third year at college.  I can't believe that I'm already a junior in college.  Where has the time gone?  It felt like yesterday that I was a junior in high school and now I have a brother who's a junior in high school and I'm in college.  Sometimes I still can't fathom it.  I have spent most of my summer studying like crazy and it paid off.  I passed OChem! Barely, but I passed.  Now I begin the next semester of OChem and I am determined to do better this semester.  That means I will pretty much spend from now until December studying, in case you never hear from me.  Nevermind that's a fact, you will never hear from me.  Despite this I am still kind of excited to start a new semester of school.  And so I am taking a few of my precious free moments to reflect upon school and what it means.  With school starting tomorrow I have noticed that you can always tell its that time of the year by certain signs.  Here are some that I've noticed.

You know school is about to start when...

1.  You can number the days of freedom left on one hand, and you begin to hear comments like "There is no way school starts in 4 days."  Or you can mentally calculate the your dwindling hours of summer.

2. Most of your remaining free time is spent running errands to every place imaginable.  Such as the mall, grocery store, atlantis, bookstore, campus, narnia, more clothing stores, walmart, etc. (I didn't really visit narnia or atlantis this week because if I had I wouldn't be worrying about school).

3. School supplies are stuffed in bags around the room.  My favorite part about school is the new supplies, not clothes, but pencils, pens, notebooks, and everything else.  I know I am a freak.

4. You have spent more time in a dressing room then your actual room.  This is an exaggeration, but then again one hour of clothing shopping feels like an eternity to me.

5.  You had to sell your soul, or another suitable payment in the form of limbs or first children, to pay for books/tuition/fees/whatever else they deem necessary for education.  Not the truth but close to it.  Still worth it though.

6.  Desks become piled with the ridiculously huge textbooks you just bought.

Yes, I am taking OChem II, Calculus III, and Physics
Hence the reason I have become a self proclaimed hermit

7.  You are regularly attacked by items falling out of your fridge and freezer.

You thought I was joking about being attacked. 
My daily routine includes an exciting game of fridge/freezer jenga. 

8.  Communication in regards to little things is non existent.  Hence our apartment has a bajillion bunches of bananas.
At least we will get our daily fruit intake

9. You realize you probably should figure out how to work your alarm clock again.  Hitting the snooze will come naturally so no need to refresh that particular habit.

10.  You get really excited for school while planning and preparing to get to all of your new classes and learn lots of new subjects.  Truthfully I am really excited for school and to learn new stuff.  This semester is going to be hard, but I will find a way to enjoy myself.  I do love to learns!