Christmas Recap

Capture

This was easily one of the best Christmas’ ever. John and I got to spend 5 days in RVA with my family! I always get so homesick for Richmond and a weekend home never is enough time, especially since we get in so late on Friday night. Being there for more than one full day really made me happy.

John got me this amazing purse for Christmas, along with 3 sets of shower gel and matching lotion from Bath and Body Works and some cute tops I’ve had my eye on. Best husband ever.

My parents were very generous as well. They gave John some amazing gifts, including a pair of L.L. Bean duck boots that he has yet to go a day without wearing. Mind you, it didn’t rain a day while we were in Richmond. As for myself, if I had to narrow down my two favorite gifts my parents gave me this year it would be this super cozy vest from Anthropologie (that I’ve already worn 3 times) and the Buffalo Check Puffer Vest from J. Crew. I wore one of them every day that we were in Richmond; whether the weather required it or not. #I’mObsessed

Have to throw it out there; my parents also got me and John this beautiful comforter from Pottery Barn! I love it, but the cats might love it more. It’s just so cozy, getting up in the morning just got harder.

John loves shopping at Pottery Barn #hewassobored #trooper

John loves shopping at Pottery Barn #hewassobored #trooper #somuchplaid

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and wish you a safe and Happy New Year as well! Who has fun plans?

Dream Bedroom

Dream Bedroom

An Early Christmas

Since John and I are going to visit my parents for Christmas we decided to celebrate our Christmas early and exchange gifts before we leave. This is not the first time we’ve celebrated early; in fact, we’ve celebrated Christmas early every year since we’ve been together. It’s going to be weird when we actually start opening presents on the 25th.  This year I got John a fair amount of stuff I wanted to get for him, not necessarily what he wanted, but he loved it all. John’s pretty hard to shop for because when he needs something he just buys it and he didn’t really want anything this year. That being said, I went the traditional route when it came to gifts, he got a new iphone, this sweater from J. Crew (in the maroon color) , long sleeve polo from J. Crew (seriously, he LOVES these), a Triple C amplifier egg, New Balance tennis shoes (pebble blue), socks and boxers. I had a lot of fun shopping for John this year because we didn’t really put a cap or budget on Christmas. I love John so much and always want him to have the best. It’s really hard for me to keep surprises, so I pretty much told John everything I got him right after I bought it, BUT there were a few surprises for him and my parents and sister got him some amazing gifts that are surprises.

Now, for Christmas I also got John two things from Eddie Bauer, which he picked out. Two weeks ago we were walking around the mall and John wanted to go in Eddie Bauer when we walked past. I haven’t been in an Eddie Bauer in years, so I figured, why not? Well, if you have any Christmas shopping left to do for any males in your life, go. Go right now. They are having a huge sale; everything in the store is on sale. There’s even a sign outside that says “everything is on sale”.  I’m not a huge fan of the women’s clothing, but we got John a micro fleece half zip (this one in maritime) for 50% off and the Micro Fleece Radiator jacket (dark smoke) for 50% off. I paid $62 total! John’s already worn the half zip three or 4 times and the jacket twice. Both are super soft and I love how he looks like a little rugged, preppy mountain man in the jacket. I loved the blankets they had on sale and Eddie Bauer always carries the coolest gadgets for outdoor activities. I was pleasantly surprised.

Maybe I’ll share what sweet, and amazing gifts John got me for Christmas….until then, safe travels to everyone and Happy Holidays!

Christmas Ornamentsas

When John and I got engaged, one of the things my mother did was go through all the Christmas ornaments and give me the ones that are “mine” to hang out our tree. When I say mine I mean ornaments that were given to me or ones that I have always loved, and a few duplicates that she had. We have so many ornaments. In fact, this year we didn’t even put them all on the tree. Part of the reason is I refused to decorate the back of the tree that faced the wall.  Every year since John and I started dating we have picked out a few ornaments to add to our collection. And I randomly thought I’d take a few photos of some of my favorite ornaments to share with everyone. We have many I really like and some that mean a lot to me, like the 3 ornaments I have that Grammy gave me. I’m not always sure which are John’s favorites. He claims its the ones Grammy gave us (which I believe) and the ones we’ve picked out together. However, I have a sneaky suspicion its the 5, yes FIVE, ECU ornaments we have.

P.S. has anyone see the beautiful owl and bird ornaments at Saks?!IMG_3070 IMG_3071 IMG_3076IMG_3072 IMG_3073 IMG_3075

Review of Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful Darkness unfortunately is nothing like Beautiful Creatures. I think the editors failed the authors and I still can’t get over how the book seemed to fall apart half way through. The first half of the book is pretty decent, the darkness of the story is well developed, but the second half is disappointing. The way the book started out well then fell apart reminded me a lot of Mark Twain’s books which are great 2/3 of the way through then just go to hell the last 1/3. Unlike Twain though, these authors are not being paid by the word. So what’s their excuse? At times I legitimately wondered if Beautiful Darkness was written first since it had so many clear first book by an author mistakes. One of the most glaring was the convoluted plot line. The book jumps all over the place as if the authors kept wanting to add things or “small plots” but didn’t know how or where to place them.  Link is still relatively funny in the second book, but much of the humor and one liners are lost and the humor that is there seems so forced. The best way I can describe the humor is to say it’s like watching a confusing movie with a bunch of bad C-list actors. It’s a shame to see a book in a series fall so much when the first book was such a great, different and fun read.

beautiful darkness

What is the age bracket for this series? The first book seemed geared for high school and above. The second book however seems to lower the age bracket when it should have stayed at 14 years or above. Perhaps the effort to lower the target age of the reader is why the novel became convoluted and lost the easy fun read the first book had.

I have wondered if Beautiful Creatures was never meant to be a series. That perhaps the authors just wanted to write one book, but after the book became a best seller whether they felt compelled to keep writing or if their editors pushed for more books.

As for the characters themselves, Lena becomes incredibly frustrating. Lena is grieving the loss of her Uncle Macon who has been a father to her and she sees his death as her fault. I mean, it kind of is since Lena used the Book of Moons to bring Ethan back not knowing what it would take in return. Poor Ethan, he tries to be supportive to Lena, but he doesn’t realize he is alive because Macon died and Lena never tells him. Lena’s pulling away and taking risks are stereo-typical teenage behavior, I guess or I think that is what the authors are going for. Lena constantly walks the Lena pity party line and the spoiled indulged child line without ever truly stopping to think about others. Several new characters are introduced, Olivia and John Breed, who are supposed to make the characters more like teens? Since Lena is pulling away from Ethan and not speaking, he spends his summer working at the library with Marion’s new intern from England, Olivia. Olivia develops a crush on Ethan and its debatable whether Ethan likes her back or is just longing for Lena. During this time Lena begins hanging out with John Breed. Lena is infuriated any time she sees Ethan with Olivia, yet she sees nothing wrong with her new relationship with John Breed. Lena goes so far as to call Ethan juvenile and jealous when he confronts Lena about John. So Lena, you can hang out with other guys after you’ve dumped Ethan, but he can’t move on? A bit hypocritical, huh?  Lena’s responses to seeing Ethan with Olivia and her refusal to speak to Ethan or hear his explanation on who Olivia is just further proves Lena’s spoiled and self-centered ways.

Ethan can be a bit obnoxious as well because he is “the perfect boyfriend” and I find it hard to believe any teen boy with raging hormones and dealing with high school in general would be this patient and understanding; even if they wanted to be. But, it is a work of fiction, so what is one to do. I don’t want to expand too much on Lena, Olivia, and Ethan’s behaviors because if I do I think I’ll give away too much.

Those are my thoughts on the second book in the series. I have already finished the final two books and hopefully I can review them and not take 3 months to do so. Did anyone else read Beautiful Creature or Beautiful Darkness?

Sparkle Cat Rescue + 6 Puppies Who Need Forever Homes

You guys, my friends Stephanie  and Jim have opened a rescue! They are currently working towards their 501(c)(3) but in the mean time they are on a roll spaying, neutering, and rescuing many cats. Please go like their page Sparkle Cat Rescue           https://www.facebook.com/sparklecatrescue

Also,  I need to re-home 6 puppies ASAP. They are not in the best living situation right now, they are being cared for, but we really need to get them out. If you or someone you know in the Greensboro, NC area would like to adopt or foster please let me know! These sweet puppies are 8 weeks old and are beagle, pit, wire terrier mixed. I highly doubt they will weigh over 30lbs/ The two that are brown and a brown black mix look like the father, a wire hair terrier (don’t let the name turn you away! they are actually very soft) and the 4 others look like their mom.

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The Perfect Pair of Leggings.

No more searching, I’ve found the perfect leggings and they are at Target. Here’s why they are amazing,

1. There is a wide waist band which is perfect for those of us who don’t have perfectly toned mid-sections

2. They are made by the creators of Spanx, so there is some spandex, but they are not super tight or uncomfortable. The Spanx/stretch keeps the leggings from stretching out during the day and helps smooth out any unsightly lines that can sometimes show up where the waist band stops. Meaning ‪#‎byebyemuffintop

3. They are under $30! These bad boys are available in black and gray. Now the gray looks really, ummmm 80s online and I have no idea why they are so light in the picture, but they are darker, I promise. I guess the best way to describe them is to say they are a coal gray color. So here’s the link and clearly I love these enough to write this super long status about them -> http://bit.ly/1qPw6io