March Wrap Up and a Free Book (Zagat America’s Top Restaurants 2012)

First and foremost – I didn’t win the lottery ūüė¶¬† I bought my first lottery ticket ever and had a really good feeling about it, LOL.¬† But I’m not too upset about it because OHIO STATE IS IN THE FINAL FOUR!¬† For those of you not keeping track, the game is tonight at 8:45 so break out your Go Bucks cheer.¬† If Ohio State beats Kansas I will lose my yearly bet with Jason.¬† If Ohio State loses then my consolation will be that I still have a chance to win.¬† Oh, the irony.

My husband received a book for the holidays and I’m passing it on to one of you because as the parents of a 1 1/2¬† year old we are not eating out at fancy places and we are not traveling.¬† If you would like the brand new copy of Zagat’s America’s Top Restaurants 2012 just leave a comment with your email address on this post¬†and I’ll draw a name at the end of the month.

So, I only read 5 books and am feeling like I’m in a bit of a reading slump right now.¬†They never seem to last long which is a good thing¬†since this is a bookish blog!¬† I’ve also been in a slump as far as accomplishing my goals.¬† I’ll post them only because I want to keep track, but if I were you I’d just skip right over the rest of this paragraph!¬† Daily goals 10,000 steps (19/31), 8 glasses of water (6/31), daily meditations (27/31), a note to Jason (8/22), One line mom diary (31/31). Weekly goals vegetarian (6/8), letter (2/4).¬† I didn’t keep track of my cardio this month.

So, my goal for the month is to get back on track!¬† And I’m adding 2 things – read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and to give up drive-thrus for the month. I’ve always eaten fast food but since I’ve been a mother I drive thru somewhere at least once a day.¬† This is often the 5 minutes that I have to eat in relative peace and I need to break the habit.¬† I believe this and lack of sleep are the two biggest things keeping me from losing the baby weight.¬† I need to tape before and after photos on my dash for motivation.

The other thing on my radar this month is World Book Night on April 23.¬† I’ll be passing out 20 copies of The Glass Castle.

March’s 5 Word Movie Reviews – Join in and win $ for charity

For the record, I have not read The Hunger Games series.

Every time you add 5 words of your own to one of my reviews then you donate $1 to charity.  What charity, you ask?  The charity is chosen by the person who has the most reviews once we reach 100. (Last charity here)  PLEASE leave a clear 5 word comment so I can give credit for it.

You can add reviews to any of my past movie posts AND see who is in the contributing lead here.

The Hunger Games, 2012(Cast-Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hewsworth)Grade A-

Totally Captivated By Badass Katniss

Can’t wait for next movie! (Jenners)

Great book adaptation, want more! (Teddyree)

Cesar Flickerman for the win!  (Softdrink)

Wow!  Ready for Catching Fire? (Kay)

Love Lawrence, Peeta not great.  (Heather)

Jennifer Lawrence is really grim.  (Tony)

Not Lawrence’s best. Harrelson rocks.  (Brendan)

A film poster showing two men framing a large, ornate window looking out onto London. Colin Firth, on the left, is wearing as naval uniform as King George VI, staring at the viewer. Geoffrey Rush, on the right, is wearing a suit and facing out the window, his back to the reader. The picture is overlaid with names and critical praise for the film.The King’s Speech, 2010 (Cast-Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Grade B

Wish Triumph Wasn’t War Speech.

Amazing acting ‚Äď Firth and Rush (Kay)

Funny, delightful, touching. Love it! (Heather)

Fascinating true story; superb acting. (Kathy)

Brilliant, emotional, surprising, loved it!  (Teddyree)

It’s not really worth it.¬† (Tony)

Safe House, 2012 (Cast-Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds)         Grade B-

Feels Like Jason Bourne Thriller

Guy’s thriller, girl’s eye candy! (Kay)

Red Riding Hood, 2011 (Cast-Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Julie Christie)   Grade C+

Silly Story but Visually Stunning.

 Silly, visually pretty, and silly. (Heather)

Boring, poorly acted, visually good (Caspette)

A blast from the past…see what I said about The Kids Are All Right (2010) and add your review.  Peeta from the Hunger Games (Josh Hutcherson) was excellent in this one.

90 Classic Books For People in a Hurry, by Henrik Lange

90 Classic Books for People in a HurryFinished 3-27-12, rating 3.5/5, graphic reference?, 170 pages, pub. 2009

Have you ever wanted to know what people were talking about when they discussed a classic novel like Moby Dick?¬† Well, now there’s no need to waste¬†your time reading the behemoth novel,¬† just pick up this book to find out what happens. In 3 frames!!¬† Yes, every one of these classics is covered in 3 frames.¬† Some¬†are funny, some are serious,¬†and all left me feeling smarter than when I started.

I¬†warn¬†you¬†that it is addicting which is okay since it won’t take long at all to flip through 90 pages.¬† I should also warn you that endings will be given away, so if you want¬†a surprise later¬†you may want to skip that page!

This is more entertaining than detailed (obviously) so as addicting as it is (kind of like donuts) it doesn’t give enough substance to be truly outstanding (kind of like donuts).¬† There are actually a few books in here I’d never heard of and more than a few that aren’t really classics.¬† Unless you think Pet Sematary¬†by Stephen King¬†and The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown are modern classics.

The descriptions of the classics I hadn’t read were funny and some of¬†images¬†convinced me to read the book and some convinced me that reading it would be a waste of time (Steppewolf¬†and The Stranger come to mind).¬† As a matter of fact there were several classics that I enjoyed more in this book than when I actually read them (I’m thinking of Heart of Darkness here).¬† Are you curious how he could possible cover The Bible in 3 frames?¬† Let’s just say he had to do a lot of condensing.

I¬†liked this book a lot and think it would be PERFECT for a fun graduation gift, especially if they are headed off to college.¬† Kind of like a gag gift, but one they’ll actually use.

I borrowed this from the library.

What’s Missing Quiz

For this last quiz of the first round of 2012 I want you to tell me what you don’t see.¬† Tell me the novels that are missing¬†from¬†the library’s shelves¬†by these authors.¬† Some authors are only missing 1 title, some many more, so you can score more than 100 points ūüôā

You have until noon Saturday to submit your answers as a comment.  Comment will be hidden until I post the answers.  No Googling!


Have fun and Good Luck!

Obviously the formatting is off so don’t worry about the numbers-just the names and books missing.











Current Leaderboard here.

Basketball with Gage

We’re still consumed with March Madness here, so Gage has had many opportunities to say one of his favorite words.¬† He likes pointing to the tv¬†and yelling, “Ball!”

Ohio State has made it to the Final Four ūüôā¬† Go Bucks!

Jason holds a slight lead in our brackets, so I need Kansas to win (for today only).¬† C’mon Jayhawks.

What’s on your DVR?

On Fridays I like to post about movies, but this week I’m curious about what everyone takes the time to record on tv.¬† And not just the shows you happen to catch either, I mean actually programming your DVR (or other recording device).

Jason and I have very little time to watch these¬†days since Gage goes to bed around 8:45 and Jason has to take him to bed for 30 minutes.¬† So, some of these shows stay on the DVR for a very, very long time. Seriously, it’s embarrassing how long some of them have been there.¬† It’s fortunate that some of these have very short seasons.

Here are my guilty pleasures…the ones that take me away from books!

Reality shows…Project Runway, Top Chef and Survivor (I do love The Voice, but haven’t recorded it yet)

My favorite? Probably Project Runway.  Love Tim Gunn.

Comedies…Modern Family, 30 Rock, Psych and¬†The Middle¬†

My favorite? I love Modern Family, but I love the dysfunctional Heck family a little more so I’m going with The Middle.

Dramas…House, The Mentalist, Castle, Parenthood, The Closer

My favorite? I’m going with the all-star cast of Parenthood.¬† I think it’s because it’s so different from anything else I watch.


I’m sad that House and The Closer will be ending this year, but really, it’s kind of nice to lighten the DVR load.

So, what shows do you tape and what are your favorites?  Is there something I really need to start watching?

Shelter, by Harlan Coben

Shelter (Mickey Bolitar Series #1)Finished 3-21-12, rating 4/5, YA, 304 pages, pub. 2011

Book 1 of a new YA series.

I don’t read many young adult books, so I’m fairly picky when I do pick one up, but this is by one of my favorite authors and a continuation¬†of the Myron Bolitar¬†series so it was a no-brainer.¬† For those who love Myron this is a nice way to transition out of the series (if that is what Coben’s planning).¬† Myron is still around, but only marginally and his ward/nephew is a lot like him.

Mickey’s dad is dead and his mother is a junkie in rehab.¬† His uncle Myron,¬†who had been estranged from his dad since before he was born, agreed to take him in while his mom cleaned herself up.¬† Mickey is living with Myron in the house his dad where¬†grew up, going to the same school his dad did, and being lured in to the same urban legends of the neighborhood.

The Bat Lady is someone feared and ridiculed so when she tells Mickey that his father is not dead he doesn’t know what to think.¬† But he has other more pressing problems, like being the new kid at school and having your brand new girlfriend disappear.¬† He also befriends or is befriended by¬† two of the school outcasts, Spoon and Ema, who help him get into and out of trouble depending on the day.

This book felt very similar to Coben’s Myron series and as a fan I appreciated that.¬† Mickey is a boy who grew up a nomad, living around the world with his parents until he was 14, only a year before, so it stands to reason that he may have more worldly smarts that most kids.¬† Only he may have been too much like Myron in his propensity to find trouble for him to truly seem like a kid.¬† And the bullies at school seemed a little like caricatures.

I really liked the story and, as always, the plot was intricate and moved along at lightning speed.¬† There was a cliffhanger at the end, but the second book is coming out this fall so I don’t have to wait long to find out more.

I thought this was a good foray into the YA genre and I loved visiting Myron, even if only for a few minutes here and there.

Where in the world is Stacy today?

So sweet of you to ask, thank you. Today I’m over at At Home with Books talking about Elizabeth Berg.¬† Why not head over and see what I have to say about my favorite and least favorite book she’s written.¬† Isn’t it nice that Alyce invites us all to have a say?

And while I’m¬†here for a minute or two I have to mention Florinda at The 3 R’s Blog.¬† On Valentine’s Day she wrote her love story about how she and Tall Paul found each other through eHarmony.¬† She then asked What is the most important character trait your partner must have, and why? for a chance to be entered to win a $100 VISA gift card.¬† Well, since I’m mentioning it you may have guessed that I won!!! ¬†Thanks Florinda ūüôā¬† For those who are curious here’s the response I gave…

I love this story, Florinda! I have quite a few friends who have met partners this way. My favorite trait is the one that first drew me to him…his confidence. It is amazing how far uncompromising confidence in yourself will take you.

So, please hop over to Alyce’s, but before you go please let me know what the most important trait is for you.¬† Or you could tell me how I should spend the $100 ūüôā

What do you mean no quiz?

The weather has been way too beautiful for me to make a quiz this week.¬† This is the first time since I started these quizzes over 3 years ago that I’m playing hookie on a Tuesday and that counts the weeks after I had Gage!

Be back next week for more quiz fun ūüôā

Sundays with Gage – When it’s March…

It’s March and that means it NCAA tournament time which means that Gage can get into all kinds of trouble while mom and dad are distracted.¬† When it came time for Ohio State to play I realized that he didn’t have any OSU clothes that he could fit into!¬† A quick online shopping trip rectified that and when OSU plays in the Sweet Sixteen next week he’ll be ready.¬† Dad’s Michigan State team plays today and he will be decked out appropriately.

Every year since we’ve been married¬†Jason and I have¬†had our own NCAA pool with the winner choosing¬†the next 5 theater movies.¬† After the first round I’m already down 5 points and it doesn’t look good (unless Kansas somehow wins it all).

Who are you rooting for to win it all?