Monday, April 11, 2011

Just a book recommendation: Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

Hello, Twilight friends, I know you are out there. Those that either go for Team Edward or Team Jacob or like me bounce back and forth between the two. Hey, a girl can do whatever she wants inside her own psyche (or insane bordering on needing professional help mind). :)

So my vampire absorbed peers, there is a book series out that I am confident some of you have either heard of or have been told about already. Have you read them? Browsed them in the book aisle of your local book store? I had tried reading another vampire series and after about 15 pages (if it was even that many) I had to give up trying to "get into" the story. It just wasn't interesting to me. It didn't grab me in at all.

A fabulous co-worker who knew of my fondness for all things Twilight mentioned the book series one evening at work sometime last Spring but it wasn't until the end of August that I decided I needed to find something new to read and remembered the series she mentioned.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series is a paranormal romance book series that focuses on 6 "brothers" who are also warriors fighting against Lessers whom want to eradicate the entire vampire race.  Intertwined within the story of the 6 vampire warriors are women (making up the romantic part to the books) and the evil lessers who are just very nasty for lack of a better word to describe the grossness that are the lesser society (as their race is known in the books).

There are 9 books so far. Each focusing on one character in the series. I thought there would only be 6 books in the series since there are 6 warriors but I guess as characters developed in the series the author was able to carry out each secondary character into their own story. Right now I am reading Lover Unbound which is the fifth book. I began reading it but then while having reminiscing about books I've read in the past and looking for free ebooks one evening I came across the Anne of Green Gables series and have been reading those again so Love Unbound has been put aside temporarily. Yes, two VERY different types of books.  So, my point in all of this. Give the books a chance. You might very well be like me and get absorbed in the life of the Black Dagger Brothers. Enjoy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

{i (heart) reading}

Anyone that knows me knows I read, a lot! I take after my dad in that department. My mother reads but really she only became a reader in the last half of her life. I began reading my Disney Fairy Tale books early on and was hooked. I read those over and over. You remember those don't you? Cute hand drawn illustrations with the golden binding of those Little Golden books.

I eventually graduated from childrens books to teen books like Sweet Valley High, The Hardy Boys and who could forget Judy Blume. Are you there God it's me, Tara, I mean Margaret. Did you all read those books and "connect" with them as well? At some point in my early teen years I saw my Mom reading Flowers in the Attic. I was so hooked on that series I reread them for years. I read so many V.C. Andrews books that at some point she (the author) had passed away and I didn't even know it since her family hired a ghost writer to continue with her "style" of books. Very lucrative for them but soon I grew bored with type of story they were always telling.

One day I picked up one of my dads books and read my first Dean Koontz. Not my favorite genre of book but I've read a few more of his and enjoy them from time to time. Now, I was late into my teen years by this time. I would frequently stop in at Clove Lakes Book Store and browse while traveling on the bus home from classes at Wagner. Sometimes buying a book, sometimes not. Whenever in the mall I would frequently browse Waldenbooks. There was no Barnes and Noble in the mall back then. Borders were what you found trying to get from Canada or Mexico to the U.S. While Amazon was just a jungle. Reading for school was alright and I usually got by well enough since I didn't mind reading but when I had a book in my hands that I chose, I would tear it up. Not literally my dad would have yelled at me. I learned early on you don't dog ear pages and be careful with the binding don't open a book and flatten it or spread it out. It breaks the binding and weakens it. Don't hurt your books people. Hey what can I say that was my dad. Anyway, I would tear a book up and read them voraciously. Especially my guilty indulgence in romance books. Harlequins were quick reads and hey they always had a happy ending. Eventually I read authors like Barbara Delinsky, Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown. I read those 3 authors pretty exclusively for quite a few years. 

What have I been reading the last few years? A very eclectic bunch of books actually. Everything from self help to religion to the actual Bible to harlequins to Twilight to Tori Spelling to Andre Agassi to the classics. Right now I'm rereading Anne of Green Gables. It was written for middle school age children, girls, I guess. But I hadn't read it until high school when the PBS movies were on television. Loved them then and love them now. I haven't blogged in a few months. Shame on me, I know. But I had no problem thinking this whole post up once I decided to write about reading. I'm going to end here and ask you this. What have you been reading lately? What's sitting on your nightstand waiting to be picked up and read? 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

{time flies when you are}

Time sure flies by when you've been fighting a cold (17 days and counting) working 40 hours a week and dealing with this crazy winter weather.
Here at our house we are all having cabin fever and running out to pick up milk is a wonderful excuse to "get out" for awhile. I have mostly been focusing on fighting the cold, getting to work, sleeping way too much, and trying to get the energy to get on my Mac and scrapbook. Feeling like sleeping all the time though hasn't helped me get that energy.

I am happy to report I believe I have found a new favorite soft drink (for when my beloved Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Red isn't on sale). Fresca Original Citrus (it's actually known as Grapefruit flavor in other parts of the world) no wonder I like it! I was reading about it online and sources claim Pepsi doesn't have an equivalent soda type to compare to Fresca. Yep they do. Maybe it was an old article I was reading, I don't know. They aren't the same but they're close enough for me.

Until next time my friends. I'm out. Time to fill my glass with more Fresca and focus on the things that i should be focusing on. Instead of simple going through tons of tissues. Should take stock out in Kleenex with Lotion. They're cheaper than Puffs and still kind to your nose. ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, January 8, 2011

{just when you think}

Just when you think you are starting the year off right something like a cold postpones all of your good intentions. It started last Sunday with a scratchy sore throat and by the time I got home from work Monday, bazinga! I was sick. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday lying in bed but spent some time on the couch, too. Thursday I had to work a double which was HORRIBLE. I coughed, ate cough drops like crazy and blew my nose so much that by the time I got home around midnight my nose was SO sore I looked like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer!

I used a little Abreva (which is for cold sores) on my nose hoping by the time I woke up for work 5 hours later the redness and soreness would be gone and thankfully it was. I only had to work 8 hours Friday and halfway through my shift I realized I felt 25% better. I am still taking my medicine every 4 hours and Nyquil at night so that I sleep but I believe I am definitely finally on the mend. 7 days later.

I have been keeping up with a photo project I signed up for called Project 52 (have I mentioned that here before?). I submitted both Week 1 photo and already did my Week 2 photo (week 2 started today) and submitted that as well over on Flickr. I will either link those here or over at facebook (or both) at some point.  It's been snowing today so I took a bunch of photos of snow from my back door and the front door. Hopefully I will take some photos tomorrow if the weather permits by actually standing outside.

I have also been keeping up with managing my checkbook. To. The. Penny. Yay!! Paid all the bills and balanced the checkbook without any bumps in the road. Now time to waste some time on word search books I bought at the dollar store or maybe read on my kindle (am up to Book 2 of The Black Daggar Brotherhood) or read a magazine I bought (ShopSmart). Decisions, Decisions. Or I could wonder if I am dyslexic considering I just spent 5 minutes trying to fix the link to that magazine because I typed smartshop instead of shopsmart and couldn't figure out what I did wrong. DUH!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

{iPhone love}

I absolutely love my iphone and have never regretted purchasing one. For about 6 weeks in 2009 I had a blackberry and while I know there are plenty of Blackberry fans. I just missed my iphone so much that when the 3GS came out, I promptly drove my bootie to the Apple Store and purchased one.
The print resistant glass, the landscape typing that made it much easier to type with both thumbs, the improved speaker for iPod listening and the improved camera. Ahh, it was sweet. I have never regretted going back to the iPhone. 

I sit and drool over the iPhone 4 but I just can't justify the purchase when there is nothing wrong with my   phone and we recently purchased this baby thanks to a pretty awesome sale at Dell a month or so ago.

Nick uses my old iPhone the original. Not the 3G the first one. I've geekified him. Everyday he learns something new that he can do with it. But, back to my phone. I love apps. I always check the app store for new apps and look for recommendations from friends blogs and facebook posts. Some of my favorite apps.
Well duh. Facebook. It took me awhile to sign up with facebook. A couple of friends of mine kept mentioning it to me and finally one day I just signed up. Damn peer pressure. 

Absolutely one of the first, if not the first app I downloaded from the app store. If you hear a song you like, grab your phone tap on the app, tap the TAG IT button and that's it. It will listen for about 10 seconds to the song and then let you know who sings it, the name of the song and the album it's from. It even can send you over to the iTunes store or Amazon store for purchasing information. Love, Love, LOVE that. I've even tagged music in movies and tv shows with this app. 

BlogPress is an app I've only used once or twice. It's new for me as I finally begun to blog again via Blogger. When I had my blog over at typepad, I had a typepad app. This works as it's supposed to. Haven't found any bugs yet as I've only posted twice from it and nothing was too complicated. 

I get addicted to what the geeks and creators of online games call Time Management games. Usually you have to run some sort of business and make your customers all happy and satisfied in order to gain points and grow your business. I've played several in the past. This one really has me addicted lately. 

Another time management game. I tried one or two other burger shop games but prefer this one over the others. Build burgers and chicken sandwiches. Make fries and pour fountain drinks. Create value meals as well to get extra points. Two other Time Management Games I love to play are Tiny Chef(on my iPhone) and Cooking Dash or maybe it was Diner Dash online with my mac. Much fun and time wasted with them. Completely creative that they call these games time management games when I waste a ton of time playing them.

If a person could fall in love with an app and make sweet beautiful memories together this one would be it! I even LOVE the app icon. Perfect, I tell you. It's two tone brown color with the little rainbow. Too KEWT! I found Instagram from scrap/photo/baker guru and super mom Gina. I'm a long time fan of her scrap designs and we are friends on facebook. She started posting photos via this app and I had to check it out for myself. Love it. Easy to use filters and easy to share/post to facebook and twitter which are what I use.  Highly recommend this one and if I'm not mistaken it is free. A lot of other photo apps aren't.

This is the only app that I paid more that 99 cents for. It was $4.99 but it's an all inclusive guide to my camera. I had to. Especially since I do not go anywhere without my phone. So should I be bored and wanna get some learning on about the Nikon, I'm all set. 

I haven't replaced my Guitar Hero app with this one. I play with both apps from time to time. Usually I have to put my headphones on so I don't bother others cause when you play this game you have to have the volume up! Much fun. I'm not so good at it but I really like playing it. 

Now most of you that have seen an iPhone know that the screen looks like the picture above. You can move the icons around, change the docked icons at the bottom and make several pages or screens of icons. Just sweep your finger right or left and it switches to the next page or screen of icons. I happen to have a coworker who knows how to do enable your iPhone so that you can customize it. 

Sometimes my iPhone look like this. No, I don't have 171 emails. I snatched this picture from google images. I love this theme for my iPhone and it even has a cute leaf battery for the lockscreen when you are charging it.  I have several favorite themes that I have downloaded for the iPhone and switch back and forth regularly but I really would have to say my favorite is this one:

Apparently Sista is swedish for final. Guess the creator of that theme is swedish. I love the clean look to the theme and the cute icons. I don't like when I have a theme and barely any of the icons are customized for that theme. Just doesn't give the theme a complete finished look. This is a picture grabbed from google images. On my phone I chose to have the app names under each icon because I just don't remember all the app icons for everything, I need the names under them. Some apps I jus don't use as often as others. I'm getting older dang it. I need direction! Lol. 

Another favorite of mine which I actually love because the creator took the time to make tons of icons for it is this one

I saw this on a website and knew I had to download it. It even changes the keys for dialing the phone to look like the buttons on a vending machine. Very creative designer. Probably some kid with too much time on his hands but I like it! This is also a picture grabbed from google images. 

Oh and notice in the top left corner of the above iPhone photo, it reads Frank's. My coworkers ability to allow me to customize my iPhone also let me write TARA in there instead of it reading AT&T. I just had to download a tweak called Make it mine. I know, I'm such a geek you want to click CLOSE on your browser right now. I know. I accept it, but come back soon!!!

You can see my name in this photo of my locksreen below.

It has my customized wallpaper with another app I didn't mention here but it's called ICE (In Case of Emergency). God forbid I can't speak and someone finds my phone on me they will know who to contact. The lockscreen has a customized clock (similar to HTC phones) and the local weather forecast. I think the look of the flip clock is very retro. I like it. 

The last photo I have to share is of my iPhone's home screen.

The last little tweak to my phone may seem like not so much of a big deal but I adore it. See the 5 icons at the bottom of the homescreen. Well they remain there no matter which page/screen I am on. They are the docked icons. Usually there are only 4. I have a tweak on my phone which allows me 5. It enabled me to have the 5 most used and most needed things right there. Sometimes I switch out the icon on the far right (its called winterboard that's the app/program that allows me to customize the phone). So sometimes I switch that icon with the text message icon just above and left of it. Depends on my mood. There is also a tweak that allows for 5 columns if icons on each page/screen but I didn't end up keeping that because when I switch to the vending machine theme it's doesn't fit that theme. Again, I may change my mind in the future when I grow tired of the vending machine theme. Only time will tell.  

So this has been a little tour of my customized iPhone and some reviews of my favorite apps. For those that stayed for the geekiest post so far (but sure to not be the last geeky post). Thank you and come again!!!  ;)

Friday, December 31, 2010

{my one little word}

I have chosen my word or as Ali Edwards says, I've let it choose me.

I feel like I have already begun to use my word. I have been more efficient at doing several things I've wanted to focus on. Blogging, Scrapbooking and even my finances. One example, I used to balance my checkbook to the penny every few days. For the last two years I haven't balanced it AT ALL.  Let's just say, thank goodness for overdraft, but BOO for fees. I've focused on my finances and I have taken control of my check book once more!!  So far I am balancing it every day or two just to make sure I am on track and keep on track.

I plan on using my word in every aspect of my life. I plan on focusing on my health. Which means eating healthier, exercising and going to doctor appointments. Have I mentioned I'm a bad patient? Nurse and all,, I'm living up to the saying that medical professionals are bad patients. I plan on focusing on my scrapbooking hobby. I've begun by signing up for two classes over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. One begins tomorrow. A big plus is that I'm off tomorrow. Woohoo. The second begins in February.  I will focus on my classes and my scrapping.

I also plan to do the obvious with the word focus. Focus on my camera and learning all I can do with it. I have a Nikon D90 and two lenses. I have been slowly reading up on the different settings of a DSLR camera. I've been annoying my self by watching tutorial videos and reading instructions and then when I try to remember the settings a day or few days after, I forget them. I'll eventually get it. Practice makes perfect. Focus. I just reminded myself of The Karate Kid,, focus danielson,,,, FOCUS! Teehee. 

So, I end this 2010 year, with a new blog, a new word and a warm wishes and hugs for you all. Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

{mini-me, my boy and a movie}

While Christmas shopping for Mini-me (Nick's son Chris whom I refer to as my step-son or Mini-me since he's a replica of his dad) I was looking for what else to buy him since clothing is a bit boring to give a 19 year old. I got an awesome deal on a Virgin Mobile cell phone. No contract, unlimited txt and data with enough minutes for him considering he spends 95% of his time txting and not actually speaking on a phone. We paid for the first month of the phone. it's in his name and he's responsible for the rest. Plus the phone cost me $30 at Radio Shack when every other store wanted $70. Cha-ching. Love a good deal. But, his cell phone is not the point of my post. The phone and clothes were his Christmas presents. I needed something else to get for him.

While I was browsing the movie section at Walmart eyeing up the movie "The Town" because my boy Ben Affleck is in it, Nick turns and says to me that Chris really wanted to see that movie, referring to The Town. I saw it as the perfect opportunity for me to get another present for Mini-me AND get to watch my boy Ben in a movie that for the first time in a long time, got good reviews.

Have any of you watched it yet? I recommend it. I liked it, a lot. And while I know I am not really able to NOT enjoy watching Ben for 2 hours straight, it really was good! Oddly enough even though Ben plays a bad character in the movie you can't help but want him to "win" in the situation he ends up in. Chris was surprised at how well Ben can speak with a Boston accent. A thick one at that. I said,"well that's because my boy is from Boston". Nick asks,"your boy?" I said,"Oh come on, you know I have a thing for Ben".

Apparently, I never really let on about my feelings for Ben over the last year and a half.

{Sigh}Ahh, the days when I would sift through websites to find new photos of my boyfriend, ah-hem, excuse me, I mean, of Ben. I even created many a photo collage for my desk at work back when I worked in Staten Island. Around 2001 or so. Back before he made a bunch of bad movies and pre-JLo times. I like to pretend those didn't even happen. As I'm sure he would like to forget them as well. Ben also directed and assisted in the writing of the screenplay. My boy is SO talented. ;)

I even like that he's married to Jennifer Garner. I like her. I was a huge fan of the show ALIAS. Excellent show. Was very sad to see it end. Actually makes me want to rent/buy them. Hmm. That's a good idea. Must remember to google them and see how much they are.

So, I wanted to let you know that I give THE TOWN 2 thumbs way up. Rent it from Netflix or Redbox or whatever service you use. Time for my head to hit the pillow for 8 hours of sleep or I may be a very grouchy nurse tomorrow.