Friday, August 30, 2013

My First Feature and Follow Blog Hop

I'm linking up for the first time with the popular book blog hop, Feature and Follow!  I'm looking forward to meeting other book nerds like me.  So ... let's do this!

This week's Feature and Follow question is: 

If you could only have ONE – one book – for the rest of your life. Don’t cheat…what would it be?


I believe this would be a book nerd's nightmare.

However, this is an easy one for me.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

There has not been a single book out there that has come close to comparing with this classic.  The heart wrenching romance between Catherine and Heathcliff is immeasurable.  Bronte encapsulated the true meaning of soul mates.  This story will forever haunt me.

“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” 
― Emily BrontëWuthering Heights

Nuff said.

Now, let's be friends!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore

This novel spoke to all the nerd parts in me.

Quirky.  Mysterious.  Cheeky.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan creates a wacky world where old-school collides with new-school. Books versus e-readers.  No-tech versus high-tech.  Maturity versus youth.  Quality versus quantity. Tradition versus innovation. The extremes found within this story were endless and kept my nerd-girl fascinations fully engaged.

Clay Jannon is a web-designer who has lost his job and is looking for something a little more low-key.  He randomly steps into Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, conveniently located next door to a strip club, and his fate is sealed.  However, Penumbra's is no hole-in-the-wall.  With shelves that stretch far into the stratosphere housing a mysterious collection of tomes written in code, Clay can't help but be intrigued.

Taking the night shift, Clay has more than enough time to explore the old bookshop.  He soon realizes that the few patrons who visit the store during his wee hour shift are in fact regulars who consistently come in to request only the mysterious coded books.  Eventually, Clay's curiosity gets the better of him and he devotes his time to cracking the mystery behind Penumbra's secret reader society.

Eliciting the help of his techie friends and using computers to find patterns within the shelves of the shop and among the secret readers, Clay breaks the mystery which ultimately catapults him across the country in an effort to uncover the truth behind Mr. Penumbra, his boss and newest friend.

Robin Sloan created a legitimate mystery while keeping his characters witty and likable.  The mash-up between old knowledge and new knowledge was so much fun and kept me coming back for more.  The climax of the novel reveals the backbone of the story and solves the mystery behind the secret readers' society.  At this point I was expecting a shocking revelation for Clay but instead received a simple, heartwarming message about the power of friendship.  A bit underwhelming but endearing all the same.

Quality Rating (out of 5 stars)

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Friday, August 16, 2013

80's Cake

The real name of this recipe is Chocolate Mint Cake but I've always called it 80's Cake because my mom used to make it back in the decadent decade when everything was over the top.  And this cake definitely pushes your sweet buds over the top.  Plus, just the color scheme alone screams 1985 - (mint green + black = white hot). 

I hadn't had this cake in many, many years but I found the recipe stuffed way down deep in my recipe binder and I had like, a totally huge urge, to like, bake this tubular treat.  And of course upon first bite I was transported back to my childhood days complete with hot pink jeans, jelly shoes, charm necklace, and tight perm.  

80's Cake (Chocolate Mint Cake)
1 box white cake mix
6 T Dark Creme de Menthe Liquor
1 jar Hershey Fudge Topping
1 8 oz. Cool Whip
chocolate sprinkles

1. Mix cake mix as directed and add 3 T of the Creme de Menthe liquor.
2. Bake as directed in a 9x13 pan or cupcake tins.
3. Cool at room temperature.
4. When cool, spread fudge topping on cake.
5. Add remaining 3 T of Creme de Menthe liquor to Cool Whip and fold until blended.  Spread over fudge topping and garnish with chocolate sprinkles.

Keep refrigerated!

Like, OH MY GAWD!  This cake is so gnarly!

Linking Up With...
Fun Friday Blog Hop
Time to Sparkle Link Party

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Honey-Do: Return Air Grille

Ah, yes!  The beauty of return air grilles.  Who doesn't love them?  Uh, me.  That's who.  They are just a bunch of eye sores screwing up beautifully decorated rooms.  Especially when they're the size of Timbuktu and have been placed so elegantly OFF CENTER within the wall like the doozy in our living room.  Deep sigh. 

So ... you can understand my delight (or maybe not) when finding this wonderful idea on Pinterest.  I immediately ran to my husband and proclaimed, "This is what we need!!!  It will solve all our horrible return air grille problems!!!" 

Because I can't build anything to save my life, this instantly became a Honey-Do task.  My obliging other half was sweet enough to add yet another home improvement item to his long and dreadful list and now I have the CUTEST return air grille ever!  Don't be jealous.

Before the installation...
We never put the ugly old cover back on after painting this room a gazillion years ago.  We have been living with a GAPING hole for a looooooong time now.  This will explain my over-the-moon excitement about a simple little air grille DIY upgrade. Translation: Get a life, Brooke.

After the installation...

My honey used:

  • sheet metal with this awesome retro pattern (find it at Lowe's)
  • scrap wood from the garage to build the frame
  • matching wall paint
See Pinterest link above for detailed steps.  Again, I'm no Builder Bob.  My talent lies in stealing the ideas from Pinterest.

DIY On Deck: Still thinking about hanging a cluster of ceiling medallions on the wall above my couch (just under the air grille) for a more textured look.  I'd like to figure out a way to add just a dusting of shimmer along the medallion perimeters.  I'm sure it'll be another 6 months before I get around to it.

Linking Up With...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Confessions From a Mistreated Barbie Clan

The complaints are in and it's official.  Our toys hate us.

Barbie 1: What's WITH these damn people?!

Barbie 2: Oh, I know!  Being left out on the deck for over 3 weeks is just ridiculous!

Barbie 3: Do they even realize it's rained on us at least 10 times?!

Barbie 1: My hair will NEVER be the same.  What will Ken think of me now?

Barbie 2: What a bunch of idiots.  They're so lazy.  They can't even take care of their toys.

Barbie 3: I hate living here.  It's so trashy.

   Barbie 4: Tonight's the night, ladies.  We're bustin' outta this joint.  You think the neighbor kids will take us in?

Barbie 1: Shhh!  Don't talk. They're coming back out.

Linking Up With...