About Me

My photo
A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

Total Pageviews

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What I Was Into in December

Well - December has come and gone - and it came and went like whiplash; I swear, I feel like this month sped by on wings. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that Thanksgiving fell so late this year, but December has almost felt like nothing more than a  little blip on the radar. It's crazy! That being said - you know that if December is on the way out, that means the year 2013 is on the way out too! A whole new year - don't even get me started! Let's look back at December!

Books I Read:

And Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner: This book was really good; I haven't ever read a book by Jennifer Weiner that I didn't like. This story is about four women and the way their lives intersect; Bettina is wary that her new stepmother India isn't who she pretends to be, India is struggling to have a child with her new husband and hires Annie to serve as her surrogate and will carry the child conceived with an egg that was purchased from Jules. These women should never interact but circumstances conspire to change their lives - for the better. I love that each character has an honest, heart-felt motivation for the part they play in the story and I especially loved the way the story wound itself up! Like I said - I've never been disappointed by a Jennifer Weiner book and this one was no exception!

Divergent by Veronica Roth: I finally jumped on this book bandwagon after I was given the first book as a (very) late birthday present. I'd started reading another book and just wasn't feeling it so I did something I don't normally do and jumped into this one. I'm fairly intrigued by the premise: a society where at age 16 you are divided into one of five factions based on dominant personality traits. The division into factions is believed to keep societal chaos at bay...which is all well and good until you realize that everyone doesn't fit into just one category; what does one do when they are...divergent? Interestingly enough, my copy of the book has a quiz that will tell you what faction you are meant to be in - and I'm both Erudite and Abnegation; so I suppose I'm divergent as well. And if you haven't read the books, then I suppose you'll have no clue what Erudite and Abnegation mean - and to that I'll say, go buy yourself a copy of the book and find out!


Which Faction would you be in?



Books in the Queue:

Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire: The final book in the Oz series that began with Wicked; I started reading this book in the middle of December and I have to say that it started really slow. I'd finally started to get into it but so many people had mentioned how great the Divergent series is and so I stuck a bookmark in this one, set is aside and moved on. I'll be sure to pick this one back up as soon as I finish reading...

Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth: You see, I was given a Books A Million gift card for Christmas from a friend and I'm just 100% positive that I'll be using that gift card to buy the two other books in the Divergent trilogy. I can already tell you that even though I'm only halfway through the first book - I'm hooked. And I have to say; I've read so much about how the series ends and people have been very divided on how they felt about the ending - so I've got to read the series and see what happens! I must!

Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman: I have no clue what this book will entail but my friend Nickolee has been stressing that I read this for months and months now and I guess my Mom saw all the posts about it because lo and behold; it was wrapped up for me under the tree! I'm expecting grand revelations from this book since my friend has hyped it up so much - so I suppose I'll read this one near the start of the new year; perhaps it will enlighten me in 2014? I know I need to finish my trilogy first - ha!



Can't Miss Television:

The Sound of Music Live: Yes, I watched this and I 100% loved it! I was already intrigued by the premise when they first announced plans for the show back in September but when I saw that Stephen Moyer had been cast as the Captain, I was definitely in! I've been watching Stephen on True Blood for six years now and trust me; him as Captain Von Trapp is a complete 180 degrees from the vampire he plays on True Blood. Plus - who knew the man could sing?? And sing really well! I snuggled on my couch and watched all three glorious hours and I even sang along with the songs. I still can't believe all the backlash that the production got - from criticism that they were trying to remake the movie (nope - this was the stage version; different thing) to bashing Carrie Underwood's acting skills (which weren't amazing, but no one ever claimed she was an actress) and people who downright hate the Sound of Music but (for reasons I will never understand) chose to watch it and hate on it. I loved it so much I bought a copy for myself - and I even listen to the soundtrack from time to time. Stephen Moyer does a mean Edelweiss! 


Maria and the Captain - for the 2013 audience.
Downton Abbey: Oh yes, I've done it! I avoided the show for so long but between my sister and my friend Nickolee (gee Nickolee, you are getting pushy these days, aren't you? Ha-ha!) constantly insisting that I start watching it, I had to give in. Well - I had to give in because Lindsey brought it with her over Christmas break and we all watched the first two episodes. Lucky me - she left the first season with me and I won't even lie - I binge watched the whole first season in the course of 12 hours. I was off work on December 26th and since I'd already seen the first 2 of the 7 episodes that make up season one, I just went for it and finished it! Of course, I've still got to see seasons two and three before I can watch season four (which I will be DVR'ing for a later viewing) but suffice it to say - I'm addicted to all things Downton now. Also - if you don't know what Downton Abbey is about; I can't elaborate, I'll just go ahead and conclude you've been living under a rock for the past three years.

Homeland: Yes, Lindsey hooked me on another show over Christmas break and I also may or may not have binge-watched the first season of this while I was sick on the Friday and Saturday after Christmas; it was a suspenseful few sick days! Homeland sets the premise that newly returned POW Sgt. Nicholas Brody has been turned by a terrorist cell and is waiting for instructions to carry out an attack at any moment and CIA analyst Carrie Mathison is the only person who actually believes that Brody has really been turned; the rest of the world sees him as a hero. It's so thrilling and intriguing and while it took me an episode or two to get into it, by the time I was watching episode three I found myself sitting at the edge of the couch waiting to see what would happen next! And now I'm waiting with baited breath for season two to arrive in a package on Thursday so I can see how it further unfolds!

I'm hooked...hooked...and I love them both, even though they're both crazy.





Movies I've Watched:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: The second movie in the Hobbit trilogy and it was better than the first! The company of dwarfs led by Thorin Oakenshield, along with Bilbo continued on their journey to the Lonely Mountain - this time encountering giant spiders (gross - just gross) woodland elves (hey Legolas!) mean-spirited humans in Lake Town and numerous packs of orcs before finally arriving at the summit of the Lonely Mountain. Once they surmise a way into the mountain, they face their greatest opponent yet - the dragon Smaug. The movie was excellent - full of action as well as amazing scenery since this trilogy was also shot in the beautiful country of New Zealand. I went to to see this on my own on a Sunday afternoon and enjoyed every minute of it - especially the winks and nods to the earlier made Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Excellent movie! Just excellent!

Surprisingly, that is the only movie I watched this month - I mean; there are a ton of movies currently out that I'd love to see but as I mentioned, this month has whizzed by! And I just haven't gotten out to see anything else. Crazy!






Music I've Listened to:

The Sound of Music Live! soundtrack: What can I say, I'm a sucker for musicals and as I mentioned above, Moyer does a mean Edelweiss. And we all know Carrie Underwood can belt a tune - and don't even get me started on the woman that plays Mother Abbess. Hello songs!

The Pentatonix Christmas CD:  Includes some of my favorite Christmas songs; actually has my FAVORITE Christmas song - O Come, O Come Emmanuel and the boys and girls of Pentatonix can sing some acapella like nobodies business! An excellent iTunes find!

I See Fire by Ed Sheeran: The theme song for the Desolation of Smaug; this song is really pretty and Ed Sheeran has a great voice. I have listened to it over and over and it has the distinction of being the first song I listened to in my new car - with my phone hooked up, of course! 

Yummy in My Tummy:

White Trash: My Dad ever so sweetly asked me to make him some for the holidays and though I'd never made it, I found a recipe, grabbed the ingredients and whipped up some! I didn't realize how easy it was to make or just how delicious it was but I think it will become a staple for my holiday cooking from now on!

Watergate Salad: Another thing I have not ever had but absolutely fell in love with once I tried it. This is probably a far cry from being anything remotely close to actual salad...but it is green! This is Cool Whip, pistachio pudding mix, crushed pineapples and walnuts all mixed together to make greatness! My Aunt Beth made it for the Watson Christmas and again on Christmas Eve and I could have taken the bowl and just eaten it all! 

Holiday Cookies: From - where else? The church cookie swap! I just enjoyed eating holiday goodies both savory and sweet all month long! 

Cookie swap goodies and my good friend!




What I'm Looking Forward to In January:

Sherlock Season Three premiere! Yes! January 19th on PBS, for three delightful weeks Sherlock and Watson will be back on the case and I cannot wait! How did Sherlock survive that fall? How long will Watson stay mad once he realizes that Sherlock faked him out? I can't wait to find out how it all plays out - even if it will be over in only three short weeks!

Just 19 days now...how did he survive the fall?
And I suppose that's all - January always seems to be somewhat long and dull. I can't remember any Januaries from the past being remarkably thrilling. I think I'll just settle in for some Sherlock, reading some good books and hoping that maybe January will surprise me in some way. 



Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in Pictures

My Christmas Festivities...nothing but pictures. Enjoy!

Driving my early Christmas present to the Watson Christmas on Saturday night!

So. Much. Food....

And so many desserts too...yeesh. But delicious!

Someone has a mouth full of goodness...sweet potato or corn casserole?

Holding some "babies" in my lap - the little sis and the littlest cousin!

Sister selfie!

Smiling with little Miss Riley!

I got lots of Presidential portraits for Christmas from my Watson family members - nice! I've already put some to good use.

Teaching little cheffie how to whip up some Peanut Butter Almond Bark cookies!

I trained her well - she's already a pro!

These two - they are like two peas in a pod; he makes every step she does & when she sits, he's in her lap.

The annual making of the Christmas cookies - Mom cuts them with expert precision!

Making Christmas "crack"....

Nothing wrong with licking the bowl, right?

Ready to decorate!

Which color should I choose?

The finished products - so colorful and cheery. Tasty too!

Lindsey with two of her favorites - a present and a decorated house.

My Christmas tree and Santa hat....and me looking a little bit dazed...

Saying good-bye to my first car on Christmas Eve - it has been given to new owners who love it and will care for it.

Christmas Eve party at the McKeithens - the food is always amazing!

Sister shot before we scarf down our yummy plates!

McKenna & Jodi..ready to eat some yummy food!

Dirty Santa strategy...

The Watson cousins - minus one. We miss you Alisha....

The three "sisters"...we are growing up too fast!

The girls!

My Santa gifts...a new crock pot and a lovely jewelry set. Oh yeah...and there's a car outside too!

Lindsey's awesome t-shirt blanket from Santa!

Visions of pot roast and pork loin dancing in my head...

Ready to play Santa Claus and pass out all those presents!

The parents smiling with all their gifts - they must have been good this year.

I think Mom really loves her new winter coat!

A Lannister blanket - Lindsey knows me too well! 

All of my presents were wrapped in Snoopy paper - I loved it!

Another awesome present? A color-changing mug; this time it's Stark instead of Lannister.

The mug in action - I love it!

I think he was pretty pleased with the Saints sweatshirt that I gave him - look at that grin!

We got owl hats - awesome!

And I got an owl pillow that I've had my eye on for months...yahoo! Excuse the stoned expression; the respiratory infection was beginning to take hold & it wasn't good...

A tea kettle - she loves it!

The aftermath of the un-wrapping...

Surrounded by all our things...so much stuff...whoosh.

He looks less than pleased to be having his picture taken...oh well...

See what I mean? Right back in her lap...

Slowly getting weary from all the present opening....

And asleep...oh geez; they are too much.

Wearing his new hoodie - he looks so sharp!

The new car all decked out for a Christmas drive!

Testing his new car seat...he's fan.

And also loving the bed and sock monkey that Santa brought him - sweet puppy.

Sunset on Christmas night...

Passing my first crock pot on to Lindsey...she'll have her own home soon & needs to be able to cook good stuff.

Smelling her t-shirt blankie as she packs...so silly.
And...that's all folks!