Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Books: Marshmallows for Breakfast

Marshmallows for Breakfast is British chick lit with a twist - an interracial element.

In this book by Dorothy Koomson, Kendra becomes a lodger in the studio above the garage of a family. Only when she gets settled in she finds the mother is gone and she's got a distraught father and his six year old twins as her landlords. It is complicated for all involved.

The story moves along which is good. Just when I'd think there was too much explanation something interesting would happen. I thought Kendra was a little silly with things, but she had been through some trauma, one I'd never faced myself. Who am I to say I'd never react that way? Otherwise she was a strong character. So were the others.

What killed me was the ending. Koomson doesn't seem to be fond of happy endings. I know I'm making a broad statement like that without having read any of her other books (which I've listed below and all of which are interracial), but I have read the reviews. At least 3 of the six books I found at Amazon have reviews indicating an unresolved or less than happy ending. Koomson seems to focus more on her character development and resolution of the character angst than on any romance, no matter how much it is hinted in the story.

Although unsatisfied with the endings I may read another of her books because she does tell a good story.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

TV: Endings and Beginnings

The endings are the three shows that I haven't given my update for yet. And I'm seriously late on this because life sometimes gets in the way.

Covert Affairs - Way to make us hang from a cliff! I'm glad they brought back the Sri Lanka babe, but I would have preferred to know if he would be significant next season. I still like the show a lot and can't wait for next season.

Lie to Me - The situation between Lightman and his daughter makes me stress about my own kids, but it was entertaining :) I want to see more going on between Monica and Brendan.

Being Human - What can I say? I'm sad about Annie, happy about George and Nina, worried about Mitchell, and itching with anticipation about Herrick.

The beginnings start with...

Bones - Of course they would all come together again. The reason sounded pretty flimsy, and I can't believe everything would just shut down without Brennan. Loved the surprises! I'm looking forward to the next episode.

Biggest Loser - Interesting beginning. They are always switching things up to keep it fresh. Too many reality shows are losing their ratings. B commented that this group looked a little thinner than other seasons, and I think it's due to their start.

House - I'm just plain scared. House is going to make poor Cuddy miserable. I'm not expecting that many surprises, but I like the basic "solve the illness" part of the show.

Warehouse 13 - Cheesy fun as always.

The household has been incredibly busy. Didn't I already say that? Anyway, TV watching is now DVR recording. Watching has dropped down the list.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Miscellaneous: Minecraft

I'm currently completely enamored of this game that is all the rage in gaming geekdom - Minecraft. Wikipedia's definition is as follows:

Minecraft is a sandbox game which allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world.

That is such a simple description for a person who can't get enough!

I LOVE the idea of houses with hidden rooms, magic levers, and hidey holes. I LOVE looking at floor plans, designing with floor plans, and dreaming up impossible futures. I LOVE the ideas of spelunking and tunneling (B is claustrophobic, so that's not going to happen.)

And then comes Minecraft. For all the men out there who like to fight and need a big challenge there are spiders, zombies, skeletons, and creepers to battle against. You also have to find some important survival tools (coal, food, shelter). But for all the big thinkers the crafting possibilities are endless. There are caves to explore, dungeons with hidden items, things to make (glass, clay/brick, boats, etc.), and homes to build.

It is all of my dreams come true. :) I LOVE Minecraft.

The guy (Markus Persson) who made this game has become overloaded with the interest in the game that his site crashed last weekend. If you're looking for cool modern graphics, then this isn't the game for you. But I bet you'd be surprised how addicting it could be.

Check out the main site here.
Or these videos here, here, and here.
Oh, and here's an article here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Men: Manu Bennett

Name: Manu Bennett
Best Known For: Movie, Spartacus
Year of Birth: 1969
Status: Single (?)
Height: 5' 11"
Fun Fact: Started his career on a teen soap

Manu was a suggestion by Cheryl :) and I like. For an older guy, and believe me the others are nearly jail bait, Manu has a great physique. Maori, Irish, Scottish, and Spanish all combined to make this man quite attractive. I like his short hair and serious look. I only recognize a couple of he movies so I hope we see more of him in the future.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chocolate: DIY Mint Brownies

I read a book by Mallery this summer (among many :)) with a recipe in the front. It was DIY mint Brownies. It was short, but not quite as sweet as I thought. I have a link to the recipe that someone "borrowed" (I'm being nice) from the book here. I followed the directions and put the cookies right into the mix. The brownies didn't cook all the way so they were extremely gooey and bordering on dough.

I tried again. Maybe if the cookies were on top then the brownies would cook all the way. I gave them five extra minutes and they were still really gooey - like not done at all. So I stuck the brownies back in the oven and ended up with too done.

Couldn't win!

I think there were several factors that made this difficult. One, the brownie mix was superior and required that the brownies cook for the specific amount of time to get perfection. We've cooked these following the directions and always get the best result. Two, the cookies were inferior. Cheapy chocolate with little mint. Nice to eat by themselves, but not good for this recipe. Three, we think the recipe was too vague.

I love using premade stuff and mixing it with homemade to get unique baked goods, but this one missed the boat.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Books: When She's Bad

Drama, drama drama! Reading this book, When She's Bad by Leanne Banks, was like watching a soap - and that's how you'll have to think of it. Delilah, who didn't have the best life growing up, finds an elder gentleman to take care of. Everyone thinks he's her sugar daddy, but they are really friends. His friendship extends to giving her most of the shares of an exclusive spa when she shows her awesome business sense. Then he dies. His daughter dislikes her and has decided to bring Delilah down.

On top of all that, she's trying to expand the business; she has a handsome, but annoying next door neighbor; there's a blackmailer; and suddenly she gets a small surprise on her doorstep. Like I said drama! However, it's a good "mindless read."

The book is preceded by Some Girls Do and is followed by Trouble in High Heels. They both have to do with Delilah's sisters. They were books #31 and #49 of my summer reads, and I enjoyed them. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

TV: Summer Finales

The five shows we (as a family) spent time watching this summer: Covert Affairs, Psych, Eureka, Lie to Me, and Being Human. Psych and Eureka have ended their run for the summer to return this winter 2011. Covert Affairs will have its 2 hour finale and has been picked up for another season 2011 (Yippee!) Lie to Me will take a short break (according to wiki) after its finale and return in November. Being Human has one more episode and then we're left to wonder if we get to see the third season.

Eureka ended nicely. I'm glad that things didn't happen the way they should have and yet they still managed to have a happy ending. I've always hated those horrible cliff hangers that made you wait 3 months. There are some little ledges though...Beverly, Lupo and Zane, and secret keeping wife of Henry.

Psych ends cool. It was a really good episode! USA did the funny by playing Bourne right before having "Marie" play a spy named Nadia. They did the geek by having Shawn outwit the feds. They did the awesome by having Shawn and Jules kiss. Can't wait until winter.

The other three shows are on this week. We'll see how it goes...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Miscellaneous: Alien

I was having a really hard time coming up with my Miscellaneous post. Then I watched my second showing of The Fifth Element and realized that I hadn't posted about my other "watch over and over" movies.

Alien falls in that category. It doesn't take much for me to watch the crew disappear one by one by the growing and ultimately deadly alien; to laugh at the now more noticeably fake stomach piercing alien flea; and to freak out (no matter how many times I see it) from Jonesy's screeching jump.

I'll bite at Aliens and Alien Resurrection as well. Newt, "beep....beep....beep, beep, beep," boo hiss Burke, basketball, black fingernails, and hole of death. Aliens 3 sucked...worse than the face creature.

Bonus if it's unedited :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Men: Niall Matter

Name: Niall Matter
Best Known For: TV, Eureka
Year of Birth: 1980
Status: Partner :(
Height: 6'
Fun Fact: Oil rig worker for 8 years

After watching Eureka all summer, I just couldn't help but be enamored by this Canadian. The scruff is so sexy on him! In one of the more recent episodes he is coming on to another character - had to wipe up some drool. He also plays the drums and is a big hockey fan.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chocolate: Coconut M & Ms

I really didn't want to do another chocolate post where I put a picture and basically hummed in satisfaction, but that's what Coconut M&M's are. I bought one delightfully yummy bag and had to be forced to share. I went about finding someone else who could more eloquently express the wonder and found people saying the same thing as I am. YUM!

The only negative is that the coconut is artificial, but they don't taste that way. Which is especially awesome for those who like the coconut flavor, but don't buy coconut because of the texture. Oh, and that they're supposed to be limited edition - disappearing soon. I wonder how many petitions I'll need to start...

Check out the M&M's in the store and the reviews here and here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I was going over my Me posts because I didn't have any really important information to impart for September. I decided to look at my resolutions...seeing as how the year will be 3/4 done at the end of the month.

I will clean the house. I was partially successful in that I can see my sofas and the kiddos have taken to playing in the room. I will clean out my closet did not happen, although some of my shirts went to the give away pile. I will use the Wii Fit and I will clean out and wash my car also did not happen. Okay, I'm sad about those.

I will beat my current score on Scramble which is on Facebook and I did that as well as get addicted to a new game. I will buy a new pair of jeans happened happily. Shopping :) I will buy a new laptop fell by the wayside, but I still have the holidays to rectify that. I will finish that story I'm writing stalled out this August, but I worked diligently on it. I'm thinking I'll be close by December.

I will hug the kiddos more often, I will tell the B that I love him, I will figure out how to cook at least one meal for the family all happened. I think the kids are going to go catatonic if I smother them anymore. The food was a sort of chicken and biscuits dish that I am thinking of improving. Go Me! I will write thank you cards is a work goal and now that I'm back to that we'll see.

Look for another update in December along with my annual quotes post. Where are you on your resolutions?