The Redemptive Power of Song

We've discussed how music plays a big role in Alex George's A Good American when we talked about how he described Jette's life as an opera. It's more than that the family just liked music, it was woven into the fabric of their lives. It was what they used to learn about themselves and about life. ...more
Usually I listen to pandora...& I'm all about nostalgia music. I think maybe because whatever ...more

The Uprising: When Toys Come to Life

The toys are trying to kill me. I’m pretty sure I’ve discovered the source of all the mysterious bruises that keep appearing on my legs. Also, I may have a broken toe. I was sitting alone on my couch this evening, minding my own business, quietly typing away on a brilliant blog post for you. Only the living room lights were still on -- the rest of the house was dark. I thought it would just be a quiet night to sit back, write, and enjoy a nice glass of the Pinot Noir Aunt Stephanie provided as a distraction for gifting the muppets two Power Wheels. ("Do not try to drive over your brother!") I heard a slight buzzing noise behind me. I turned, slowly, as the rattling grew louder....more
Working at a preschool about killed me.more

Finding Beauty in a Harsh Existence

I spent a lot of time while reading Lisa Gardner's newest book, Touch and Go, trying to figure out Libby. She was broken but she also showed a resilience and strength that surprised me, as I believe it did her kidnappers. I appreciated the glimpses of her past that we received, particularly the one below:...more
I'm a beauty blogger so you'd think this question would be easier. I think I find most beauty in ...more

Gastronomic Mosaics & Culinary Road Maps

Food quickly becomes important to the story in Alex George's A Good American. Before the Meisenheimers ever open the restaurant, Jette finds herself homesick. She turns to the meals she ate in her homeland for comfort. She didn't have recipes passed down from her mother or even a cookbook to turn to. Through a process of trial and error, she made her way through the food in memories until they existed on her table. ...more
Its funny...no one would guess looking at me that I grew up eating lots of Thai, Greek, & ...more

Would You Maim a Buddy?

Now, hold on. I don't mean that the way it sounds, I promise! I like to read the author's notes and acknowledgements in books and Lisa Gardner's notes for Touch and Go were fascinating. I loved finding out how many characters in the book were named after real people....more
I think it is hard to write about someone you know completely positively...so I wouldn't ...more

Do We Ever Really Leave High School?

Lissy Ryder, the main character in Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, never really left high school. She hit her peak during those four years and stopped growing and reaching. When she discovered there is life after high school it was a complete and total shock. While we may not all be like Lissy, I still see references every week online to things being just like high school....more
I feel like, despite the good points brought up here, we're all still arguing with high school. ...more

Pain Has a Flavor

"Here is something I learned when I was eleven years old: Pain has a flavor. The question is, what does it taste like to you?" ...more
I had never thought about it. I would say 7-Up because it makes me think of being ill but not ...more

Would You Like To Go Back In Time?

In Jen Lancaster's new novel, Here I Go Again, Lissy Ryder is given a potion that can help her right all her wrongs. Being the person she is, Lissy doesn't approach it cautiously. No, she throws it back like it's an espresso shot. When she wakes up and realizes she's back in the past -- back in high school -- she's elated. That would not be my reaction. ...more
Only if it was with Doctor Who!more

Music Tells Your Story

One of the things I probably identified the most with in Jen Lancaster's Here I Go Again were the discussions between Lissy and Brian about music. When you are teenager, few things feel bigger than the music you listen to in high school. It becomes the soundtrack for that part of your life, and you carry it with you going forward....more
Pretty much anything from the 90s. I was a music fanatic! Almost every love song is about some ...more

The 10 Year Plan

Before I read Kate and David Marshall's My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future I would have told you that 10 year plans give me hives. One of the most dreaded questions in a job interview for me was always one about where I saw myself in five years. I still may not be exactly eager to plan out my life in 10 year chunks, but at least I know how that it's possible to do it in a way that doesn't cause me panic....more
I think I used this as a guide that works more than my usual "someday I will" routine. Someday ...more