Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Goals

It has been an eventful year, although the blog probably doesn't reflect that.

My reading has been up and down. For the last few months, my cross stitching has taken over my reading time. I also had a little reading slump after Squeaker was born.

Despite the set backs, I actually met my Goodreads goal of reading 150 books!! Woo!

I also met my goal for reading and reviewing 52 graphic novels. I actually finished the year with 56!

As for my goal of reading the big stack of books on my night stand, I still have a stack of books on my night stand. It has gotten a little smaller, but it is still there.

Overall, I think I've had a pretty great year in books!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Twits

17242187From Goodreads:    How do you outwit a Twit? Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything -- except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don't just want out, they want revenge.

My Thoughts:

-    I remember liking this book and thinking it was funny. During this re-read with my daughter, I thought it was just alright. It had funny moments, but it was a bit silly and childish for me. I think I'm getting old. 

-    Mr. and Mrs. Twit are terrible people. They deserved a worse fate than what they got. I don't know how they can stand each other. The pranks they pulled on each other were pretty funny, and I wish the whole book had been about that.

-    The birds and the monkeys were fun, but when the story switched over to be about them, that is when the book got too young for me. 

-    Gnome liked the book, she laughed and was excited to read it every night. It was a quick read with lots of pictures, and she liked all the pictures.

-    I can't imagine a Roald Dahl book without Quentin Blake's illustrations. He always brings the characters and whimsy to life.

Gnome's Thoughts:

-    It was silly and funny.

-    Mr. and Mrs. Twit were mean.

-    There were lots of funny parts.

-    I liked the whole book.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Perfect Scoundrels

13580928Goodreads Synopsis:    Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the son of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it's that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale's family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother's billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there's no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won't let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother's will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company's fortune. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she's willing to save her boyfriend's company if it means losing the boy.

My Thoughts:

-    I love Kat and Hale's relationship. It is complex and full of tension. 

-    I love that these stories are about family, and the family business is theft! So great! It is so great to read about a family that is so loyal. Each member of the family watches out for each other and is always willing to step in and help.

-    I really enjoyed meeting other members of Kat's family.

-    I was binge watching White Collar while reading this, and it is a perfect companion for this novel. 

-    I wish I had some of Kat's skills.

-    This is a really fun series, and I'm excited that Ally is writing another one! 

Previous books in the Heist Society series:
(covers are linked)

6574102 10327303

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Danny the Champion of the World

Goodreads Synopsis:    Danny’s life seems perfect: his home is a gypsy caravan, he’s the youngest car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. And when Danny discovers his father’s secret, he’s off on the adventure of a lifetime. Here’s Roald Dahl’s famous story about a 9-year-old boy, his dad, and a daring and hilarious pheasant-snatching expedition. Just as important, it’s the story of the love between a boy and his father who, in Danny’s own words, is “the most marvelous and exciting father a boy ever had.”

My Thoughts:

-    This story had all the charm and characteristics of a Roald Dahl book, but it was long. It felt long. Gnome enjoyed it though.

-    I really liked that Danny's dad told him stories about The BFG. It was fun.

-    The pheasant hunting was fun, but it took a while to get to it. 

-    I enjoyed the book alright, but there were a few slow parts, and I got bored at times.

-    I liked all the characters. 

Gnome's Thoughts:

-    It had a good ending.

-    There were funny parts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016



Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake -- and her own. 

Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.

My Thoughts:

-    This was another really fun book from Raina Telgemeier. I enjoyed it a lot.

-    I learned a few things about The Day of the Dead. It was really interesting. I liked learning more about the holiday and culture.

-    I really liked the characters. I think a lot of kids could relate to Catrina. 

-    The illustrations were great. I loved the expressions on the character's faces. They crack me up. 

-    I highly recommend this to anyone who loved Smile and Sisters, and any graphic novel fan. This would be a fun one to read with kids too. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Image result for warcraft movie poster

My Thoughts:

-    I had low expectations for this movie, and I was really surprised by how much I liked it. Yes, I play World of Warcraft. Yes, this movie was made for fans. As a Gnome Death Knight, I approved of this movie, and I'm excited for the next one. 

-    The CG was great! I loved the orcs and the environments. They were perfect. I got really excited seeing Azeroth come to life. Stormwind was perfect! Seeing Ironforge made me SO happy! The movie was very fun eye candy.

-    Personally, I wish they would have made the Lich King story into a movie, but the orcs coming to Azeroth was fine. I enjoyed the story, and I liked seeing all the characters. I especially loved baby Thrall.

-    They did a really good job with the movie. I didn't think they could pull it off, but they did. I will be in line at the theater to see the next one. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

My Dream Crate

Subscription boxes are pretty popular. I've never signed up for one, but I've always been curious about them, and it is something I'd like to experience some day.

One subscription service in particular, Loot Crate, is on the look out for what people would do if they were able to design their own Dream Crate. A few top notch crate ideas will be highlighted, and one crate might even be turned into a reality.

Since I have been reading and watching Sherlock Holmes this month, I'm going to create a Sherlock themed Dream Crate!

Sherlock and John Busts
Image result for Sherlock and John busts
These come with the Sherlock Limited Edition Gift Set. I don't need the disc set, but I'd love to have the busts! Can you imagine these on a bookshelf or a mantle!? It would be SO awesome!

Key Necklace
This Sherlock Holmes 221 B Key Necklace can be found on Etsy. 
I would wear this every day!

BBC Sherlock 221B Door Wooden Ornament
Christmas is just around the corner, and what Sherlock fan wouldn't want this Sherlock Door Ornament hanging on their tree?

Sherlock Coloring Book
I would spend hours in this coloring book adventure.

Messenger Bag
This I Am Sherlocked Messenger Bag has been on my Amazon wish list for a while. I don't use a purse, but I'd proudly carry this around.

Funko Pop
What subscription box would be complete without a Funko? I already own John and Sherlock, so I'd want Moriarty or Mycroft in my box. Surprise me!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fan Art Friday: Heist Society

I didn't find very much, but I found enough to showcase.

The last three are obviously by the same artist, but I liked them all, so I included them all. I wish I could have found more characters and scenes. My favorite is the one that says Stealing Art and Stealing Hearts. I like the word art and the depiction of Kat.

Which is your favorite?

The pictures are linked to the source, so you may click on them and go check out more from these artists.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Uncommon Criminals

10327303Goodreads Synopsis:    Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners. 

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

My Thoughts:

-    These books are really fun! I'm enjoying them a lot.

-    The tension between Kat and Hale gets ramped up a bit in this book. I loved it! 

-    I love that the story keeps the reader guessing. There is always a bit of mystery and suspense. I had no idea how Kat was going to pull off this particular "heist" until it was revealed. I also love the mystery surrounding certain characters.

-    The characters are so much fun! Not only is the main character awesome, but the supporting cast is equally as awesome. I usually don't like characters like Gabrielle, but she makes me laugh, and I can't help but love her. Hale is really winning me over, and I love Uncle Eddie and Charlie. Even the "bad guys" are fun. 

-    I think it is really clever that the author made up pieces of art and gems for these books. I would not be that creative. Ally describes these valuables in a way that makes you think they are legit too.

-    I can't wait to read the third book!

Previous book in the Heist Society series:
(cover is linked)


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Blogging Absence Due to Illness

Hey friends! I have been dealing with mastitis this week, so blogging and everything else has been pushed off to the side. I've been lying on the couch and in bed most of the week. I'm starting to feel better, so I should be blogging again soon! I just wanted to let you know I'm still alive and haven't quit blogging. I'm just taking a small hiatus. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Heist Society

6574102Goodreads Synopsis:    When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a really fun story with great characters. It is very reminiscent of any "heist" movie like Ocean's Eleven and The Italian Job. I really enjoyed it.

-    Kat is a great main character. She is smart and has an awesome set of thief skills, but she also struggles with stealing things and how her family operates. 

-    I love Kat's family, and I love that the story is an all around family business. It is great to see a book with strong family ties. 

-    Some parts of the book felt a little slow to me, but I was interested the whole time, and I loved getting to the actual heist. 

-    I really enjoy Kat's relationship with Hale. There is tension there, and they've known each other for forever. I love romances that bloom from friendship. 

-    Very fun book, and it has Ally's humor and style all over it. I'm excited to read the rest of the series. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

One Lovely Blog Award

Kara from Flowers of Quiet Happiness nominated me for this award! Thank you Kara!


Thank the person that tagged you and link to their blog
List the rules.
Share 7 interesting things about yourself
Nominate 10 blogs
List your nominees and link to their blog

7 Interesting Things About Me:

I had chicken pox twice. I had a very mild case when I was about 5, and then I had a more severe case in middle school.

I play the clarinet for the Wasatch Winds. I've been playing the clarinet since I was 11. I also play Tenor Sax. I picked that up in high school so I could play in Jazz Band.

I am a musical addict. I love musicals, especially ones with Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and Fred Astaire. I always put one on when I do chores because I like the background noise. I used to be afraid to admit I loved musicals, but now I shout it out proud!

I am awesome at Disney Trivia. My family won't play with me anymore, and it makes me sad. I can sing most Disney songs, quote lines, and I love learning new and random facts. I love most trivia games, but I rock at Disney, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings trivia games.

I was born in South Korea, and I was adopted at 5 months old. I don't speak Korean or have any cool cultural stuff, but I can make a pretty good bulgogi, and I LOVE Kimchi.

I love video games. We own an Xbox 360, Wii, and Wii U. We used to have a PS2 as well, but we sold it. I want a 3DS really bad! I also play World of Warcraft. I'd say I'm a fairly good gamer. I can hold my own when it comes to competing. 

I collect Funko Pops. I love them, and I would love to display them tastefully throughout my home. I'm still working on that. I have a love/hate relationship with my house right now. 

My Nominations: (I couldn't come up with 10)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Way to Be!

596258Goodreads Says:    From one of the world's foremost spiritual leaders, an inspiring book that provides young adults and their parents with a game plan for leading a better life. 

This inspiring, upbeat, life-affirming book shows teenagers and their families how to navigate through the moral minefields of contemporary life and how to truly enjoy the opportunities and blessings that the modern world has to offer. 

Drawing upon his faith as well as his personal experience, Gordon B. Hinckley provides his readers with a game plan for discovering and embracing the things in life that are valuable and worthwhile. He shows how our lives are shaped by the decisions we make every day about personal behavior -- and he shows how to make the right decisions with the help of nine guiding principles. 

With its vivid anecdotes, invaluable precepts, and timeless wisdom, Way to Be! will be a source of both inspiration and practical advice for young people everywhere who want to lead better, fuller, more satisfying lives.

My Thoughts:

-    I loved President Hinckley. He was an amazing man, and I will always remember when he first spoke about the Be Attitudes. I was a teen when he gave this talk, and I love how simple and straight forward his 9 Bs are. I think everyone, not just members of the LDS church, could benefit from living by these Bs. 
Image result for Gordon B Hinckley's 9 B's

-    I loved reading the personal stories and lessons from President Hinckley's life. He had some amazing parents.

-    This book is short and sweet, but there is a lot to absorb.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fan Art Friday: Alan Rickman

In keeping with the tributes to actors who have passed on recently, 
I want to spotlight Alan Rickman today. 
He was truly talented, and his voice was so iconic. He wasn't dashing in the traditional sense, but the way he spoke and carried himself made him attractive and charming in his own way.

I was so happy to find SO many pictures of Alan. He had a lot of fans! I hope you enjoyed them.

The last two are my favorite. I like the colors and ethereal feel of the first one, and I just LOVE the scene of Snape and his patronus. I read the books before the movies came out, so I have my own vision of what the characters look like, but Snape will always be Alan Rickman to me.

Which is your favorite?
What was your favorite Alan Rickman character?

If you'd like to see more from a particular artist, or if you want to see the picture larger, click on them. They are all linked to the source.

If you have any requests for Fan Art Friday, please let me know!