Monday, September 30, 2013

Just Can't Get Enough: September

Yikes!  I skipped my August playlist and am barely making it for September.

This is totally a slack in blogging and NOT a slack in jamming.

I'm always jamming.

Take a listen to what's tickling my ears this month.

1. I Love You by Said The Whale:  I'm a new listener to this band but dang, how awesome is this retro-esque track?  So very, very awesome.  Gimme more.

2. Out of My League by Fitz and The Tantrums:  Still not sick of this song.

3. 365 Days by ZZ Ward: I could listen to Ward's voice all ding-dong-dandy day long!  She's brilliant.  Need to see her live

4. Hold On by Alabama Shakes:  This one's not getting old for me either and it's definitely filling up my monthly gritty soul requirement.

5. Hearts Like Ours by The Naked and Famous:  Recycled 80's pop/new wave elements = Happy Brookey (me).

Whatchya Listening To???  Don't be shy ... SHARE!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

We Got Dressed ... For the First Day of School

Don't get too excited now.  This was the first day of our Parent-Tot class.  My little Miss Sassy Pants may look like a Kindergartner (and act like one too) but she's barely just starting her academic career. Nevertheless, it was a BIG deal for us both.

May I also mention that I'm four months preggers and HATE "getting dressed" (this could pose as a major hiccup for my style posts).  This is the most aWkWaRd stage of pregnancy in terms of body shape.  The baby bump is not quite round, firm, and pretty yet and so clothes are just a complete Debbie Downer.  Are you lady mamas with me here?  And so flowy, loose-fitting tops are my only friends.

On Me:
Top: Old Navy Maternity (old) (similar here)  
Capri Leggings: Target (here

On Sassy Pants:
Romper: Old Navy (no longer available) (cute option here)  
Shoes: Target (no longer available in white canvas) ( BUT, we just bought these for fall) 

Fun Fact (not quite): This photo shoot (if you can even call it that) lasted about three minutes total because Miss Sassy Pants tripped over the tripod and scraped her palm. Can you hear the wailing?  

That's a wrap.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Puckering Up With EOS

Fun flavored lip gloss is very nostalgic for me.  I remember as a young girl collecting every flavored Lip Smacker in a small tin container and keeping it on my nightstand.  My nightly (and morning) ritual was to select the next Smacker in my perfectly planned line up so that each gloss was used with the same frequency. Childhood OCD?  Perhaps.

Lip Smackers remained in my use well into adulthood.  I had one in my purse, one in my car, and of course one in my nightstand drawer (sans the ritual).  Then my glossy world got really stale.  My lively Raspberry Lemonades, Orange Crushes, Dr. Peppers, and Cotton Candy tubes were for some reason replaced by a travel sized pot of Vaseline and a couple of Chapsticks.

What happened?

I believe I lost my lip balm mojo.

Then a few months ago a dear friend of mine whipped out a funny little vessel from her purse and applied a fruity scented gloss that triggered my former Lip Smacker obsession.  I was instantly intrigued.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago as I excitedly purchased my first EOS lip balm in the funky container.  I just knew right then and there that I was reviving my lost lip gloss love of yesteryear.  Except this time my gloss is mature like me.  It's organic, hip, and grown-up.  But STILL deliciously fun and fruity!

All I can say is that I feel whole again ... or at least my lips do.  I have this strong urge to collect all the flavors and kick start my nightly ritual.

Are you an EOS fan or have you found a new favorite lip product?  As always, do share!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Last spring a student of mine came to class one day and practically shoved a thick, red book into my chest.

"You HAVE to read this, Mrs. Gira!" Julia pronounced with wide eyes and a shortness of breath.

"What is this?" I asked.  "I've never heard of it." 

"Oh. My. God.  This book IS my entire life.  Just promise you'll read it." 

Well, dang.  If it's YOUR LIFE then how can I possibly say no?  I love when students get excited enough about a book that they feel the need to force it upon me.  An English teacher's dream.

And with that I jumped into the world of Inkheart, where books truly come to life.  It may have taken me a good four months to complete it (things came up like exams, three other books on my nightstand, and raising a two-year-old) but I kept my promise and I'm glad that I did.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is a fantasy novel (trilogy actually) that could possibly rival the treasured Harry Potter series (although in my book, nothing ever could).  However, while reading, I could not stop feeling a strange likeness to Harry Potter.  Not so much in the story line but more in the likable characters and the obvious love that Funke poured into the novel.  I understand there is a big fan base for the Inkheart series and this is not at all surprising.  

Meggie is twelve-years-old and lives with her loving father Mo.  Besides a deep love and reliance for one another they also share a love of books.  Mo makes a living doing what he loves, binding books and Meggie is a voracious reader.  For years, Mo and Meggie have enjoyed their love of the written word and have shared many great stories together EXCEPT for one minor detail - Mo refuses to read aloud to his daughter. No matter how many times she begs he won't do it.  Ever.

As strange as this sounds, Mo has a very good reason for his refrain.  Mo possesses a special power.  When he reads aloud from a book the characters come to life.  They literally come out of the book and into the present world.  As you can imagine this can more often than not be a very bad thing.  Very bad indeed. When Meggie was a baby, Mo read aloud to her and her mother Resa one night from the pages of Inkheart, a story full of old-world characters including nasty, ruthless villains.  Needless to say, Mo's entrancing voice summoned out three fantastical characters - Dustfinger, Basta, and the black-hearted Capricorn.  To make matters even worse, Resa gets transported into the book and they haven't seen her since.

Twelve years later, Mo and Meggie find the mysterious Dustfinger standing on their doorstep and no sooner are they off to find and fight Capricorn in hopes of returning Resa to her family.

Funke's plot is probably every book lover's one true wish - to be able to bring written characters to life (I'm assuming this is why Julia claimed the book was HER LIFE). With an enticing story like this, Inkheart could really do no wrong. Perhaps even stronger than the plot is the development of the main characters, particularly Mo and Meggie.  You feel the love they have for each immediately and therefore are rooting them on the whole way.  My only hiccup with this novel was the length.  It was just too long and it didn't need to be.  Although I was engaged throughout the reading I did feel as though I was being dragged through certain parts. There were a few times when I thought to myself, "Okay.  Get on with it.  I can't wait any longer."  As a comparison to another lengthy fantasy novel, I NEVER felt that way when reading Potter.

Recommended Age: 12 and up (because of vocabulary and style)

Quality Rating (out of 5 stars):

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