Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Hey Readers!

Do you ever just get into an author and want to devour everything they’ve ever written? My husband does that, but I’m a bit more flighty with my reading. I have few loyalties, aside from Tamora Pierce and J.K.Rowling. That’s not to say I won’t run through a series, I finished all of the True Blood series in a summer including that last two books. But normally, I will read a book and then move on to another trying to complete my challenge. It annoys my husband greatly. He loves to read straight through an author’s entire body of work. In fact, I just got him hooked on Tamora Pierce Tortall universe, which he is about a third of the way through now. He started two weeks ago. After I finished reading the Lunar Chronicles I was hungry to read more by Marissa Meyer. Heartless is her take on wonderland’s own Queen of Hearts. This was a fantastic retelling and I love the trend of investigating fairy tales and redressing villains. It really speaks to my personal motto that every villain is the hero of their own story.

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Exploring Merida, Mexico

Hey Readers!

As I am writing this, I am on a plane. I found out a while back that I had been selected out of all of my coworkers for a work exchange program to our sister office in Merida, Mexico. I’ve had so much else going on at home that I never even had time to think about it! Believe it or not, I’ve never been on a work trip like this one before, and I am beyond excited. Due to legal restrictions, I can’t share too much about my employer on here, but I will say that I work for an excellent company that specializes in educational travel programs around the world. I decided tomorrow would be the perfect opportunity to share my day with you and talk a bit more about the international travel process, and the history of Merida, Mexico, since I will be touring some historical sites. I didn’t book these tickets, my company did, so I can’t talk too much about that process, but follow along with me while I spend a day in Merida, Mexico! Continue reading

The Mysterious Beneditc Society b y Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Hey readers!

I just finished reading a book that has been sitting on my shelf almost as long, if not longer than, I have known my husband. Oops. This is a fantastic young adult fiction full of mystery, spy work, and a dash of British sensibility. Just by looking at it you can tell this is a kids adventure book, because the cover is a little cartoony and features a school, but it had been sitting there long enough and it’s a really fat book so I figured it would still be well worth my time. This book also fit my Pop Sugar reading Challenge Category: a book you borrowed because I borrowed it from my younger cousin at least five years ago. I checked he’s since then gotten an additional copy and read it himself, so I’m not holding anyone up.

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Sue’s Pasta Salad

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*Pictures to come when I get back from Mexico*

I don’t know about where you live, but it has been super hot here, which is perfect. This is the season of cold salads, and hot burgers, and I have the perfect side for you to take to every potluck and cook out that you’re invited to this summer. My mother has made this pasta salad for as long as I can remember. I don’t know where she found the recipe, but its presence shapes most of my childhood memories, and some friends know to request this recipe whenever they invite me for dinner. It doesn’t really have a name, we just call it “Sue’s pasta salad,” though I’m sure she didn’t make it up. Hopefully, you’ll love it just as much. Continue reading

How to Plan Your Month with a Bullet Journal

Hey Readers!

Its that time of year again. I have nearly filled up my bullet journal and just ordered my new one from Amazon. It’s like Christmas morning for me, planning my new layouts and what things I will include in this book. Seeing what works and what doesn’t always gives me a fresh burst of motivation. Every time this purchase comes around I look into other journal options and every time I stick with my personal favorite, and 8.5 x 5 Leuchtturm1917. I just love the layout: the dot spacing, the built-in table of contents and the perforated pages in the back. These notebooks also include a useful pocket in the back and sewn in color coordinated bookmarks. It simply has everything that I need, and nothing that I don’t want. (Pardon the double negative) I’ve talked about these books before in my Intro to Bullet Journaling post as well as a few others, but Goulet Pens has a great video that goes over all of the features. This time around I chose to go with a bright berry color, which is one of about twenty different shades to choose from.

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Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith

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Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith

Hey Readers!

Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder in Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith, this weeks book in review, and when the eye belongs to a private investigator it’s sure to be an honest assessment. I picked this book to fit the PopSugar Reading Challenge category of a story set in a fascinating place. I have traveled to Africa many times, but never to Botswana, which has a rich culture and fascinating history. This is the third novel in Alexander McCall Scott’s series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, which is a fiction mystery series. The Series was also turned into a BBC radio drama, which is the first time I’ve ever heard of that before. I happened to have this book on my shelf, but I’m not sure where or when I picked it up originally. As I was reading this book, I realized I had read it before. I remembered some portions much better than I remembered others however, so I decided to continue through it and I was pleasantly satisfied again. Continue reading

Organic Versus Inorganic Flavors In Wine

Hey readers,

Last month, we talked about fruit flavors and conditions in wine. I was even able to share a few examples. This month I want to talk about organic and inorganic characteristics in wine. There are a variety of ways in which the term “organic” can be used to reference wine. We’ve touched on a few of the Organic wine making methods and what that means, and we will absolutely delve more into that subject, but at a later date. What this post is going to discuss is the narrow section on a W.S.E.T. tasting sheet that refers to the nose and the palate and organic versus inorganic materials. As we’ve already discussed, wine is made up of more than just fruit. Sunlight, soil, water, and wind all play a huge part in the end product. These key players often add their own distinctive flavor characteristics to the final production. Being able to pull out those characteristics and interpret them could allow a sommelier to determine origin, vintage or even growing region. I would love to be that good, for now I’ll settle for picking out flavors and guessing at growing regions and varietals. Continue reading