A Book You Loved and One You Didn’t

The 30-Day Writing Challenge asks “A Book You Loved and One You Didn’t”.

A story I enjoyed (and the one that made me read) was “Her Royal Destiny” by Carol Maxwell Eady.  It’s a historical romance regarding Queen Katherine Parr who outlived King Henry VIII.  I read this tale when I was in middle school.  It caused me to become absorbed in in the life of Henry VIII and I imagine myself somewhat of an authority on his spouses.

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The novel I didn’t care for was a more recent read called “Baltimore Blues” by Laura Lippman.  So terribly penned, I couldn’t give a damn for any of the characters.  I’m astonished that the author turned out twelve books for the series.  I pray she delved more into the construction of her characters in her recent books and devoted less time on the “fine art of rowing”.

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Book Review: Baltimore Blues by Laura Lippman

Baltimore Blues

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This begins off with the main character, Tess, being unemployed after losing her job at a newspaper. I give Tess props for taking any job that came her way to pay the bills.  Since this was published in 1997, I won’t fault her for not attempting to write a blog to make a living since blogging didn’t become a thing until the late 1990s.

I want to point out I listened to this book on audio and liked the voice of the narrator, Deborah Hazlett.

As for the story, it goes downhill from there. I didn’t care about the characters. Tess, while spunky, was a bumbling novice and made a mess out of everything by jumping to conclusions. I care nothing about rowing and this is where a good majority of the description went in.  I became bored and found my mind wandering.

The breakdown at the end made scant sense. She would have never discovered the killer if he hadn’t had tried to kill her.  It didn’t add up that he did so because she was not anywhere near finding out it was him.

The fact she thought she wouldn’t be able to prove the other characters involvement in the death of an 11-year-old boy doesn’t wash.  You can’t deny a tape recording with your voice on it confessing to the crimes. She was in love with Jonathan, but after he was murdered she’s ready to hook up with someone else days afterward? Please, real life doesn’t work that way.

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Supernatural

SPOILER ALERT:  If you have not seen all the episodes of Supernatural up to Season 10, stop reading now.

So, I just completed watching all the episodes of “Supernatural” that were available on Netflix at the moment.  I’m not really sure what to do with my time now.  They don’t have all the episodes of Season 10 available on Hulu and I am sure that it will be a while before they will have it available on Netflix.  I’d purchase the season, but I don’t really have that kind of money at the moment…

However, after watching all the episodes on Netflix, I did notice quite a few flaws in the series.  I thought I would share them with you and see what you think.

1.  Dean and Sam are supposed to be the true vessels of Lucifer and Michael.  That being said, why didn’t Lucifer and Michael try protecting them at all costs?  Demons, ghosts, Jinn, vampires, etc., all tried killing Sam and Dean on a regular basis.  Why wouldn’t the archangels step in to protect them?  Yes, they weren’t the only possible vessels, but they were the TRUE vessels.

2.  Castiel first shows up as a bad ass angel, but then he becomes very naive and innocent only to turn into a bad ass angel once again.  I think they need to pick a personality for him and stick with it.

3.  When did Castiel learn how to drive a car?

4.  On that same note, why did Dean have to find a car when there is an entire garage full of vehicles in the bunker?

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5.  Why isn’t there any mention of Meg after she is killed?  Don’t you think that Cass would like to know?

All the flaws aside, wouldn’t you absolutely love to be among the crew of Supernatural?

Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop – Share a Quote You Love

I think my ultimate favorite quote is:

Our Fingerprints

I first heard this quote in a movie called “Remember Me” starring Robert Pattinson.  I remember my friend wanted to see it really bad, but I was kind of on the fence about it.  It looked like a romance, and I’m not your typical girl when it comes to liking romantic movies.  If something doesn’t blow up, I get really bored.  But we went to see it anyway.

I fell in love with that movie.  I won’t tell you anything about it other than you should most definitely go watch it.  It’s actually on Netflix now, so go check it out!  You won’t regret it.  It starts off slow, but stick with it.  In the end, you will most definitely thank me for the recommendation.

This quote reminds me of all the people we can touch without ever even knowing we are doing so:

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It reminds me that we can make a difference in so many lives:

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It reminds me that every person we speak to, every person we make eye contact with, every person we hold, will make a difference in our lives and we will make a difference in their’s… no matter how small or insignificant that difference may be:

Handprints

So go out there and remember that “Our fingerprints do not fade from the lives we touch.”

Mama’s Losin’ It

April 2015 Birchbox Delivery

April 2015 Birchbox $10.00 monthly subscription

April 2015 Birchbox
$10.00 monthly subscription

This is my first review for something like this.  In March, my daughter subscribed to Ipsy and receives free samples and full-size products on a monthly basis for only $10 per month.  I liked her bag, but we thought I should try Birchbox so we would be getting different items every month and we could share.  So, this is my first box from Birchbox.

I must say that I really like the box, however, that being said, I’m not sure what do do with it.  It’s too nice to throw away, but I don’t really think I will have any use for it.  Ipsy items at least come with a makeup bag every month, that I would be able to use to organize my growing collection of products.

jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain Full-Size $25.00

jane iredale
Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain
Full-Size $25.00

The first item I am going to review is the jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain.  I received the sample size of this item and I’ve got to tell you that I’m definitely not impressed.  It feels and tastes like a ChapStick, and other than making my lips look slightly glossy, there is absolutely no pigmentation whatsoever in this product.  Other people seem to like it, but I am not about to spend $25 to purchase a full-size version.

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel Full-Size $48.00

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel
Full-Size $48.00

This next item is the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel.  I also received a sample size of this, but I sincerely wish it had been a full size.  I’ve used it once and with only a very small amount it had amazing results!  I just love the way my skin feels after using this.  If I could afford it right now, I would definitely be buying the full-size version.

Supergoop!® Daily Correct CC Cream ​SPF 35+ Full-Size $32.00

Supergoop!®
Daily Correct CC Cream ​SPF 35+
Full-Size $32.00

Third in the box, is Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream.  I haven’t actually used this sample yet, but I did swatch it and I liked the results.  Hopefully I will like it when I actually put on a full face.

Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm Full-Size $29.00

Temple Spa
Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm
Full-Size $29.00

Fourth in the box is Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm.  I received the sample size of this as well and absolutely love it.  The smell is definitely calm and soothing, like being at the spa.  It also makes my skin soft and smooth.

Harvey Prince Yogini Fragrance Full-Size $55.00

Harvey Prince Yogini Fragrance
Full-Size $55.00

Lastly in the box is Harvey Prince Yogini.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this sample.  I put it on today and my dog kept trying to eat my hair (which he has NEVER done before) and my cat kept trying to lick my wrist.  There must be something in it that animals like.  Perhaps it is the myrrh?  I kind of like the scent, but I’m not so in love with it that I would buy a full-size version no matter what the price.

So, that’s it.  That’s my April Birchbox.  I hope you found this interesting or helpful in some way.  I’m going to go ahead and continue the subscription for one more month to see what the next one is like.  But, in the meantime, I’ve already subscribed to Ipsy to see what they may have to offer.  Hopefully I don’t get all the same products as my daughter, but that is unlikely to happen since they personalize each box.

By the way, you may click on any of the product pictures and it will take you to the website so you may see more details about the products and purchase them if you wish.

Taco Bell/KFC – Fairfield, Texas

I realized I haven’t done reviews of restaurants in a while, so I decided to go ahead and post one about the local Taco Bell/KFC.

I actually really like this Taco Bell.  Aside from the fact that it is a fairly older building and could do with some renovations, going through the drive-thru is not the nightmare it usually is at most fast food restaurants.  My kids and I like to pick up food quite often from here and have yet to have them get our order wrong with the exception of one time that they actually gave us a few extra tacos by accident.  The service is fast and friendly and the food is always exactly as expected.

I highly recommend this place.  It’s right off the highway for convenience for those who are just passing through our small little town.

Taco Bell / KFC on Urbanspoon

Pretty Little Liars

My daughter recently got me addicted to this television series.  We started off watching part of Season Three on Netflix, which is where she was at.  Once we were done with that, I started watching it from the beginning.  I’m absolutely in love with the show.  I think the writing is brilliant and the actors are amazing!

Of the four girls, my favorite would have to be Aria Montgomery who is played by Lucy Hale.  I just love her character and the actress plays her very well.  Of the other characters in the show, I have two favorites:  Ezra Fitz played by Ian Harding and Caleb Rivers played by Tyler Blackburn.  I might be twelve years older than these actors, but yum!

Aria Montgomery/Lucy Hale

 

Ezra Fitz/Ian Harding

 

Caleb Rivers/Tyler Blackburn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The twists and turns in this television show definitely keep me guessing.  I haven’t seen any of the episodes of Season Four yet because they aren’t on Netflix, but I may try seeing if I can find them somewhere on the internet so I can get caught up.  This is definitely a show that I would recommend to anybody.  And guys, this isn’t just a television show for girls, trust me.

My Take on “Dracula”

I recently started watching the new series “Dracula” on Hulu.com and I’ve got to say, I’m loving it.  I know the show has been met with some mixed reviews, but I absolutely adore Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Dracula.  Most of the cast is actually quite excellent with a few who obviously need to tweak their acting a bit.  I especially love Jessica De Gouw who plays Mina.  Not only is she rather beautiful, but her acting skills are right on target.  Jemma Redgrave even manages to make an appearance as Minerva Westenra (the Whovian in me screams with delight).

Dracula is dark and sensuous and all around just plain good.  I like the fact that it didn’t try to stay completely true to Bram Stoker’s version.  It gives it a more creative quality than it would have otherwise.

If you haven’t caught the show yet, definitely check it out.

Ponte’s Diner

I’ve eaten here three times since moving to Fairfield.  The first time was with my daughter and I got the steak fingers, which were to die for.  The waitress was really helpful and attentive.  The second time was with both my son and my daughter and we ordered shakes and the nacho appetizer.  The shakes were amazing, but the appetizer was not very good.  The third time was also with both my kids and I ordered the steak fingers again, but this time the very nice and attentive waiter convinced us to try the onion rings by claiming that they had the best onion rings in town.  We tried them and we weren’t really impressed.  They were tasteless.  In fact, my steak fingers also left something to be desired in the flavor department.

Overall, the service has always been consistently excellent, the diner is kept very clean no matter how busy they get and the price for the food is reasonable.  My only complaint would be the consistency of the flavor of the food.  It’s not that the food wasn’t good and it is always edible, but the seasoning seems to be off each time.

I do recommend this restaurant to anybody who lives in the area or who happens to be driving through, as it is right off the highway.

 

Ponte's Diner on Urbanspoon