Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What We Are Reading: Fangirl

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rainbow Rowell, you have touched my soul again.

For me, this book is about many things.

This book is about a family of four who is four until it's three. The remaining three are left to put the family back together and figure out how to move on.

This book is about two sisters who are trying to find their place in the adult world. The world of college. Both reaching, learning, spiraling, in their own way. The girls may look alike but inside they are very different people who have to learn to navigate on their own.

This book is about new relationships. Throwing yourself into those relationships desperately only to have it break down (Wren). Proceeding cautiously, oh so cautiously, and having the other party understand and support you (Cath). The pairings in this book are perfect. The relationships are genuine, real, deep.

This book has touched my heart and left a fingerprint. This book has tapped on my soul and left a mark. I will always have a piece of this book imprinted on me. Thank you, Rainbow.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

A Birthday, A Burger, and A Bout

Saturday was a very special girls in my life's 7th birthday so we met up with her family and a few of her friends for a night of good food and RollerGirls.

We started a rainy, chilly Minnesota evening with dinner at Burger Moe's in Downtown St. Paul. Shawn and I like to order two different burgers, cut them in half, and trade. We had the Blue Sky Burger which is a beef patty smothered in blue cheese, mushrooms, and onions. It is one of my favorite blue cheese burgers in the area. We also had the Saute Fe Burger which is a beef patty with Monterey Jack cheese, a thick and spicy salsa, and fresh sliced avocado. It was amazing and now one of my new favorites. The service is decent, the food is good, the portions are huge, they have a full bar, and the prices are competitive. If you are looking for a good burger in the cities, I recommend Burger Moe's. I think they might even have a small parking lot next door.

For the main event of the evening we attended the Minnesota RollerGirls 9th Season Home Team Championship Bout and, as always, it was a blast. The season ended with the Garda Belts (Heidi's team of choice) ousting the Dagger Dolls for third place and the Atomic Bombshell's knocking the Rockits out of the Championship and landing the first place title, taking home the coveted Golden Skate.

If you have never been to a RollerGirls Bout I highly recommend it for a fun Saturday evening out. At the start of every evening the run through the rules with demo skaters so everyone knows what is going on. It's very easy to pick up as you start watching.

And, who doesn't want to see a bunch of girls on skates beat up on each other? I mean, really?

The first thing we do when we get to the Bout (not game, not match, but Bout!) is find the "Black Eye" booth. For $1 they will paint up your face to make it look like you were in a bar fight. Just tell people "you should have seen the other guy" if you catch them looking.
Heidi and Sophia are all ready to watch some RollerGirls!
 Next, stop for a picture with your favorite RollerGirl such as Roller Cat, a co-worker of the Birthday Girls Nanna. How cool is that?!

L to R: Piper (Birthday Girl!), Emma, RollerGirl whose name I am not sure of, RollerCat, Maddie, Sophia, and Heidi in front
 After all that you get to find your seats and watch a the first half of the derby.

Rockits are in Red and Atomic Bombshells are Orange
 And just when you think you can't be having any more fun it's half time so head down to the main floor and dance like no one is watching. But everyone is watching and you are on the big screen a million times.

I honestly took 10 pictures of them dancing and this was the best I got. These girls know how to have a good time!
Don't forget the air guitar!

And one last picture with RollerCat before she has to head back out and try to make up some point for her team.

Head back to your seats to watch the second half which is always packed with a lot of action as this is for all the marbles!

And finally celebrate when the Bout ends because you know you could never skate like these girls, while wearing the little outfits they wear (and somehow don't fall out of), and you really could never take a skate to the jaw with such grace. So no matter who won, you are still excited and want to cheer for the ladies who just spent the last 2.5 hours entertaining you and making your night one to remember.

Atomic Bombshells win the Championship and the Golden Skate!
Well, at least that's how the night goes down for Heidi and me!

Hugs and one last HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish sent out to Piper. I hope all your dreams come true and that 7 us your best year!!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

U8 Hockey Jamboree

Heidi recently participated in a Hockey Jamboree for her Mite/U8 program. A Jamboree is basically a tournament where you keep playing win or lose. It is a super fun way to end the season and a huge fundraiser for the association.

We spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the arena watching and cheering Heidi through five games. She was exhausted by the end of the weekend but she left excited for the next year, even considering participating in the summer hockey program.

Heidi came a long way this season. She not only improved her stick and puck handling skills, she made a lot of really good friends who she looks forward to seeing each week. And as a mom, that's really all I can ask for!

Heidi looking like a hockey player in her new hat

Heidi is the second one from the door.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: I Have Iraq In My Shoe (Giveaway!!)

I Have Iraq in My Shoe: Misadventures of a Soldier of FashionI Have Iraq in My Shoe: Misadventures of a Soldier of Fashion by Gretchen Berg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This memoir follows Gretchen Berg, an American woman, through a year of teaching, shoe shopping, cultural assimilation, debt pay down, and the search for a soul mate all while living in English Village in Erbil, Iraq.

Gretchen is a very relatable thirty-something woman who is open minded enough (and far enough in debt) to set out on an adventure in a war torn region based on the gross exaggerations promised to her by her friend who worked at the school in Iraq.

I enjoyed following Gretchen’s quest to become culturally aware, even if she really was just trying to feel at home. I also enjoyed laughing (with her) about all the added luggage fees she accumulated during her time in Iraq. When will the woman just learn to pack light?

Great book, Ms. Berg! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

Give Away!! I won this book over on Chick Lit Is Not Dead and I am feeling the Karmic Pull to pass it on! If you would like my copy of this book just comment below. If more than one person requests the book I will draw names from a hat or something. Please submit your comments by March 9th!

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review: And One Last Thing

And One Last Thing ...And One Last Thing ... by Molly Harper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lacey Terwilliger is living what she thinks is the perfect life. She has a home in a cozy small town. She has a husband who provides for her. She is able to stay at home and keep the house while helping her husband run their successful insurance agency. She is a member of the Junior League. Everything is perfect.

Until it isn’t.

After a confused and slightly drunk local florist delivers flowers to her on a random week day, Lacey discovers her husband is having an affair with his secretary. And he is doing a bad job of hiding it!

In an act of revenge Lacey makes a very public example of her husband and then flees town to seek solace in her summer cabin.

While in hiding Lacey learns who she really is and what she is looking for in her life this time around.

I found this book to be an absolute riot. I loved it from the first page all the way to the last. Lacey is loveable and relatable if not a little over the top. She is a woman you want to cheer on as she blazes her path into a life where she can be the Real Lacey.

Great job, Ms. Harper!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

I Need a Kevin in My Life!

Last week Shawn returned home from Dog School with Cupcake with the news that she was very close to passing her class. At the end of the night the teacher told Cupcake and Kevin they would pass next week if they get their “down” mastered.

Wait! Hold up!

Who is Kevin? I needed to know.

Turns out Kevin is another dog in her class.

I don’t know what it was about that name but when I heard it I just knew I needed to have a cat named Kevin in my life. He needs to be a boy (obviously) and he needs to be a kitten. He would fit in well with Peter and Eddie. I just know it!

So I tell my BFF Shannon about this need and she starts sending me links to Catteries (who the heck knew cat breeders were called Catteries?!) because Shawn said I could only get a Kevin if he was a Doll Face Persian.

Did you know that Doll Face Persian’s from a Cattery are like $2,000?

Well, no Kevin for me.

At least not right now. But some day I will have a Kevin in my life. Most likely after Eddie has passed on (he is 13 but Shawn says he will live to be 23 because he is so ornery).

If I wait until Eddie is no longer with us then I can get whatever cat I want. So, in 10 years I will have a Kevin and he will be a black with gray striped tabby. Or another big orange tabby. Only time will tell.
Peter in the dog food bin when he was about 8 months old. This picture doesn't really go with this post but I found it on my computer today and just had to share it.
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: A Little Night Magic

A Little Night MagicA Little Night Magic by Lucy March
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the cute story of Olivia. A waitress in a small town in upstate New York who is feeling stuck in her life and looking for a big change. Just as she is about to board a plane to Europe to get away from it all she meets a woman who changes her life in an even bigger way than she could have imagined.

I found this book to be a fun, quick read. The story was a nice blend of love story, adventure, coming of age, and super natural. It was a bit predictable but that really didn't spoil anything for me.

I recommed this book to anyone who likes Chick Lit or Cozy Mysteries.

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