Monday, February 23, 2015

next stop, honolulu!

I am off to Hawaii for the week! I have brought along the following books to get me through my 11 hour flight there (WHATTTT)!!!! But I am super excited to get to reading as I have been fasting on reading for pure pleasure for like a month. It's been a rough month.

Friday, February 20, 2015

kick ass giveaway!

I am SOOO excited to share a chance to win a FREE copy of Artisan Cake Company's Visual Guide to Cake Decorating with you guys today!

All you have to do is email your name, address, and this book title to: to enter!
Giveaway ends on 2/23 at midnight!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

secret lovers.

When I first received the spunky pink covered Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis, I was totally thinking Thelma & Louise, not insane lesbian slices the throat of former lover once their families forbid their love. WHAT? Alexis Coe's account of this true story dated back to 1892 totally blew me away. 19-year-old Alice Mitchell planned to marry the lady of her dreams, 17-year-old Freda Ward by passing as a man. Not the worst plan I've ever heard, but once their romance was found out, they were obviously forbidden to see each other as lesbians can barely make a break for it even today. Once Alice realized that Freda was able to move on without her, she sliced her throat with her father's razor and wound up dying in an insane asylum a few years later. Totally crazy story, and Coe retells it with a ton of sources including, letters and a full account of the legal proceedings which is the most interesting part of the book if you ask me. This is without a doubt the best non-fiction I've read in months. No offense to the others, but where are your lesbian murderesses?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

old school crime novel.

I am aware that Christmas is over and has been for some time. But I haven't gotten around to reviewing Hard Case Crime's (known for their classic crime novels) very first Christmas novel! And what if you all are super into the idea of the holidays and heists in February? I wouldn't want to let you down.

It's five days before Christmas in 1951, and it's the biggest blizzard in two decades in the opening of Easy Death by Daniel Boyd which is told in multiple perspectives. The major setting is a snowbank, but that only enhanced the experience for me. There's a heist, a getaway, shots fired, suspense, and in typical classical crime fiction fashion, readers end up liking the bad guys as much as the good guys.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

friends that bead together.

Since we live in a DIY everything world at the moment, (thank you Pinterest), many of you have already started making your own jewelry. If you have not looked into Virginia Jensen's Stitching with Two-Hole Shaped Beads guidebook to better your jewel making with this classy new bead, then you need to immediately because you can make some gorgeous pieces with just a little help from Jensen's materials list and direction. And speaking of directions, hers are listed step-by-step WITH pictures (figure 1, figure 2, etc.), super easy to follow. My favorites are the cuff pieces, SO CUTE and timeless. And you should see the necklace patterns, AH! I will never buy a cheap statement necklace from Forever 21 ever again because hello? I can make one or seven.

Monday, February 16, 2015

feeling unfocused and overwhelmed at work? there's a book for that.

Living with Adult ADD is hard. Not a lot of people get it, but it really is. I'm not medicated or anything, as I believe I am mature enough to handle myself, but the struggle is real. I lose focus almost immediately whenever I do anything I'm not wholeheartedly interested in, and even then I start to fade. I don't have a lot of issues when I teach or do a photography shoot, as these things have a time limit and I can make myself focus for a certain amount of time. Just not all day. Many of you suffer from lack of focus, especially at work. I found Ned Hallowell's Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and be More Productive super helpful and I think you will, too.

There are two very important parts of this book. Part One's focus is to help readers overcome distractions at work. Electronics being a huge one. It's so much easier and fun to peruse Facebook and Pinterest than do paperwork, grading, or whatever tedious things your job entails. Part Two involves managing and maintaining your ability to focus, with strategies to help you mentally stimulate yourself, supplements you can take to help you get rid of the afternoon blahs, and mediation tips.

Friday, February 13, 2015

go to baby shower gift.

Happy Friday! I love a good play on words almost as much as I love a good cocktail book. Tim Federle has brought me both with his Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist. Perfect book d├ęcor for the nursery when the time comes? I think so. But for now it will be my go to baby shower gift for mom and dad's to be. Why? Because the nursery rhyme parodies are clever, the illustrations are funny, and the cocktail recipes are delicious. Who knew J├Ągermeister, Goldschlager, and champagne go together? I didn't know a lot of things that I do now. Thanks, Tim.