Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book Club: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

I finally finished The Cuckoo's Calling! It took me much longer to get through than I anticipated, mostly because it was written by JK Rowling and I flew through Harry Potters like they were picture books. Yes, yes, I know this book has nothing to do with Harry Potter but I expected to get sucked in the same way.

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The Cuckoo's Calling revolves around Cormoran Strike as he investigates the suicide and possible murder of Lula Landry, a young and beautiful high fashion model. He takes this case on the heels of a break up and bills piling high in his mailbox. The book opens with his new temp coming in for her first day on the job only to be attacked by her employer himself out of shock. The new temp, Robin is more adequate than any other temp he has had and helps Cormoran solve this mystery with her street smarts and quick thinking. Harry and Hermione anyone?

I did really like this book but I think I would only give it a 3.5 out of 5. There was a twist I wasn't expecting but this didn't have me on the edge of my seat and didn't leave me sleepless trying to finish. I have read this will be a series which I wouldn't be against reading but I wouldn't put it on the top of my list. I have also heard this might be a TV series. I would be so interested to see who they choose to play the three main characters, who in my eyes are Cormoran, Robin, and Lula. {She has already written a second one, The Silkworm.}

One thing that bothers me is I can't really figure out the title. Once I read it I understand parts of it but I don't really understand why she decided on this title in particular. Can anyone let me know why she titled it this way?  The references seem so loose and not to be a main part of the investigation or story. Just wandering if you have any thoughts! Let me know, did you read Cuckoo's Calling? What did you think? What do you think of the title? Let me know in the comments!

Marisa

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Banned

I had kind of put myself on a makeup buying ban after December. I have so many samples and products that I needed to use up or throw away I thought I would stop buying til March. Well since we found out we have to move that ban has now extended to clothing items too until we move. 
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Hopefully that means more reviews up here since I'll be trying to use up all my products I have that I would not like to move. 

It really stinks because there were a few items that I really wanted to try but right now I don't need them yet. And by need I mean that I haven't run out of a similar product yet. Yes, yes, you don't need makeup, but if it makes you happy to wear it and lifts you up a little I don't see anything wrong with that. 

Stay with me while I figure this out over the coming months. It's gonna be a rough road!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Update

I guess this will kind of be a week updates as well. Chris and I got a day off school and work because our roads were so bad. Our parking lot was pretty much and ice rink, I tried to have Kona drag me around but he couldn't get enough traction either. So after a tiring walk I tortured him a little with my head band...

Clearly he loved it. But I think he did like having us home for a day! 

We also found out this week that our landlord wants to raise our rent, we couldn't come to an agreement so we're moving out! Posts may be a little in and out until June, hopefully I'll be able to stay the course but I get so distracted by trying to find a new place it has taken me forever to write this little post! If you know of any places in Chapel Hill or the surrounding area I'd love to see them!

Our friends finally got their bear mount. Our friend James shot a bear while out hunting what feels like at least 6 months ago and he brought it home this weekend. After the initial shock that it might come to life his wife Jillian and I had to take a selfie! That thing is intimidating!


Later that night we made our way to Raleigh for an old fashioned cocktail off! We tried about 12 samples of cocktails and plenty of hors-d'oeuvre. I won overall cocktail with my sparkling amaretto sour, the strawberry shot in a strawberry won most creative and the black lily won for worst cocktail. And all the winners were losers after we were iced...


Clearly I was not meant to chug.  Luckily, we were very smart and took breaks and ate a lot so there were no hangovers here! On Sunday we dedicated our time to looking for places to live and being awesomely lazy. 

I hope you all had a great weekend and have an amazing week!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thank goodness...

...it's Friday. This week has been a rough one. 

1. I'd like to remember my neighbors as how they lived and not how they died. I wish I could forget the hatred in the world and whatever caused our neighbor to inflict so much pain on them and their families, and extinguish three lights that were just beginning to shine so brightly. 

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2. I wish the news would stop sensationalizing and twisting this story. I wish they would get out of our backyard, I wish they would stop trying to interview us when we walk our dog and go to work and school and use that time and resource to educate people. Use that energy to spread love and educate people that we are just that. People. We are all running the same race and it's not our place to end someones before they have finished running it. 

3. I got this card in church a few weeks ago and I've been looking at it all week wishing I could have been a better neighbor to them, gotten to know them. 


4. I'm grateful for all the texts and calls we got that night from friends and family making sure we were okay. Honestly I keep going from shock to crying. I can't believe this happened steps from our house. 

5. I seriously can't stop thinking about them. How Deah and Yusor only got to be married for barely 2 months. How Razan had an amazing artistic future in front of her. How much good they were doing for the world and how they were working to better themselves. How I can't wait to see my parents and hold them even tighter. How I want to teach my future children to love unconditionally. How lucky I am that I'll get to have future children. 

These are the ramblings I've had going through my head all week. I hope you hold your families tight this week and keep these three souls in your prayers. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

3 students shot in Chapel Hill

Nothing fun this morning. I can't bring myself to write anything today. There was a shooting in our neighborhood just a couple yards from our house. A dental student Chris taught, his wife and her sister were shot.

We live in what most of us think of as a very safe and quiet neighborhood. Our neighbors that heard it said they assumed it was a car backfiring or a transformer blowing because we live in a safe neighborhood. We don't know many details but we're praying for them and their families, I hope they'll be in your prayers too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Book Club: Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

Boy's Life is about Cory Mackenson, an 11 year old from Zeyphr, Alabama. He lives an idyllic life until one morning while helping his father make his milk deliveries they nearly avoid being hit by a runaway car that goes plunging into a lake. Cory's father tries to save the man from drowning only to find the man has already been murdered. From here we learn more about Cory, his friends, and the mysterious town of Zeyphr while also finding out who murdered the man in the car.

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This book brings up so many subjects and addresses them beautifully; racism, alcoholism, bullies, friendship, death, writing, courage, and doing the right thing. I definitely cried during this book and laughed and got to really go into the mind of an 11 year old struggling to find out who he is as a man. This book would be great to give to someone between 9 and 14 to read over the summer and then have them revisit for years to come. There are so many nuances in here that will touch you at different times in your life. As a kid you will imagine flying with Cory and his friends and their wild camping adventure, as a teenager you will see all the intricacies of finding out why the man was in the car that ran into the lake and how a teachers simple words can make a world of difference. As a parent you will notice more about Cory's dad and his friends parents and how they deal with the new times and how things are changing. I think this is a great book for many ages. (Actually there are a lot of swear words and heavy content so maybe read it before you hand it off to a young kid!) 

I think I would give this a 4 out of 5, I think it might resonate with me more if I had read it earlier in my life or read it again later. There were times when I would get a little bored with the story or something too fantastical would happen and I would want to stop following along. However I think everyone should give this book a read and judge for yourself, I would love to discuss this further and all the little subjects that come up in the book and what they meant to different people. For once I want a traditional book club! I'm not sure if I would recommend this for a regular book club book only because it is quite long, otherwise it would be a great discussion piece!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Weekend update

Well I hope you all had a more relaxing weekend than I did! I have to say I am EXHAUSTED! Going to meeting after meeting after meeting for 12 hours straight is in a word, quite tiring. This is basically how I feel: 


And pretty much exactly what I was like when I got home besides being a little hangry too. We learned a lot and we have a ton of ideas to  bring back to the chapter and I got to know the girls and their chapter better. It was a very productive weekend but I feel like I need to sleep another three days to get over it. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

High Five for Friday!

Ready for the weekend?!?!

1. As you're reading this I am probably in the air headed towards Memphis for Firesides with my sweet President and Vice President! I'll have an update on Monday hopefully!

2. Guys, I am revisiting The Office and to watch Jim and Pam's relationship unfold makes me so mushy and grateful that Chris and I were always able to make things work even when we were about 500 miles apart! Seriously, if you really want to make it work, a long distance relationship can and will work!


3. Speaking of TV Chris and I have been making our way through Orphan Black and we are obsessed! I can't stop watching it and I seriously have never had a reaction to a TV show like this, like it's so intense that I told Chris there was no way I could watch it on a plane because we would be arrested for causing a scene based on my reactions. yeah. that bad.

4. I'm really glad I got to shorten my week a bit but seriously Chris and I had something after work and school everyday! Next week is looking to be about the same! Ah!

5. One of those things was having our old friends from Baltimore over for dinner! It was a little stressful since I also had to pack for Memphis and get all the food ready but we made it work and we had such lovely time seeing them again! Chris made an awesome brisket and I made Brussels spouts and a baked potato casserole that my mom made for Christmas that is to diiiiieeeeee for! Recipe to come soon!

Hope you all have a very wonderful weekend and hopefully I'll be back here Monday!

Marisa

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Valentine's Gifts for the Gents

Now this one is a little harder because I feel like most guys I know, if they see something they like and want they will just get it. Especially if it's something small. Here are a couple things that have caught my eye for the menfolks for Valentine's day.


These are all pretty much in line with Mr. Chris' prepster style so of course find something that goes with what your guys likes!

Good Luck!

Marisa

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentine's Gifts for the Ladies

I am loving the Valentine's game this year! It all started with just a little collection of items and then it all blew up into this beautiful assortment. Of course All of this is pretty girly so please please pleaseeee if you're going to buy something for your lady make sure it fit her personality or something she would really want. After all it's about the person you love not just giving a gift because you feel like you have to. 


Good luck!

Marisa

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Club: The Weight of Blood by: Laura McHugh

Like I said before I got a chance to read a couple of books over my break and this was definitely my favorite of the two! The Weight of Blood is set in the Ozarks in Henbane, Missori where you learn a young mentally handicapped woman was chopped up and strewn through a tree for the whole town to see. The story revolves around Lucy, a mysteriously beautiful girl and her father as she learns more about what happened to her friend Cheri and the connection between her mothers disappearance nearly 15 years prior. With the help of her friend Daniel she reveals a horrible family secret that has impacted her whole life.

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This book reminded me a bit of The Husband's Secret, mostly how the narrative jumps between characters but not in a too confusing way and how they were all intricately woven together. You get to watch Lucy learn more about her mother while also reading chapters from her mother, Lila's perspective as she learns more about her new town, new husband and new child. This book was so suspenseful I was literally at the edge of my seat a couple times. I felt like my heart was racing as we learned more and more about the secrets of Henbane. The writing was so vivid for me I could truly picture where everything was and the detail within. I love a book the makes you want to read it but sometimes authors will give you a cliff hanger at the end of every chapter leaving you to want to read more. This is definitely not a bad thing but sometimes I feel like it's a trick to make you think you like a book when really you just had to keep reading because of all the cliff hangers. This book does not read like that. I wanted to keep reading simply because the story was so plot driven and I just had to learn more about this case.

I highly highly recommend this mystery thriller. If you need a more thought out and well written review head here.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weekend Update

Woo! Hope everyone had a great weekend! Like I said we went down to Charlotte to see our families and we had such a great time! We started out with dinner with my parents at New Zealand Cafe for sushi. My parents had never been before and Chris and I were totally shocked! We've been several times, and I think it's one of Chris' favorite places. Seriously awesome sushi, we shared a sushi boat we made ourselves and some poke - which they spell poki, most likely so Carolinian's will say it correctly. 

On Saturday we went over to Miss Heather Lee's for the most lovely brunch. 

She made us breakfast tacos with her awesome homemade tortillas, home fries and possibly the best fruit salad ever. Seriously, I'm a big proponent for not putting anything on a fruit salad but this dressing was amazing! I was like I would turn into a full on hummingbird so I can gobble it all up! She used this recipe from Pioneer Woman. I will definitely be making this in the future! 

After that Noelle and my mom and I went shopping like girls do and caught up and just had a great time together! Then Chris and I went and had some more Chinese food, this time with his parents at Baoding and watched the Duke V. UVA game! What a win! Thankfully we were in good company, it's always a little nerve wracking watching a Duke game in public since most people ARE NOT Duke fans. 

On Sunday we went to church and had our usual Sunday brunch at my parents house. Chris was pretty anxious to get back so we could help our friends with their Super Bowl party. We picked up a case of Kirkland light beer. Have you guys seen this at Costco? Just generic light beer? It's hilarious and not bad! We brought an app to share but it didn't hold a candle to all the bear meat we got to eat in so many different ways! 

We had so much fun play corn hole and trying to win our money back from our Superbowl Point Squares Game, Luckily we got out money back plus $1! I think we can all agree the best part of the game was...


and honestly I need a gif of the whole dance because the one knowing the dance and the other just like ughhh...this is what were supposed to do right? was just hilarious!


I hope you all had a great weekend! Let hope it went more like the right than the left...

Marisa
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