Thursday, April 17, 2014

Theming Thursday: Mother's Day DIY Gifts (1)

Today's Theming Thursday is all about Mother's Day (for the U.S. at least, as I know the U.K. just had theirs recently!). I have quite a few DIY Mother's Day gift ideas so I'm going to break it up between today and next Thursday. Therefore, if you are looking for anything specific, let me know and I will try and find something to share next week!!

Use these for your own moms, or pass them along to your children or significant other to do for YOU!

Kinzie's Kreations offers some free printables to put on a bag of M and M's. This is a sweet, simple gift for any mom. She even links to another blog that offers a free printable to have a little fun with the M and M's.

Above is one of the printables you can find from the link Kinzie's Kreations links too. This blog, Over the Moon, offers a cute Q and A card with the M and M's to have a mom and their child bond a bit. Put both of these blogs' printables together and what a fun present! This would be fun for a younger child to give to their mom.

Service coupons for Mom from Ambrosia Girl. Just print these out and your child can fill the coupons out with what they are willing to help you with - take out the trash, do the laundry, wash the dishes, etc. Easy to do and great for a slightly older child!

Free printable bookmarks from Living Locurto. I like that there are a few options, from the two above, to World's Best Mom and Grandma. They even offer black and white options for your child to color in!

This is how the Craftibilities blog set up their gift, but they offer free printables that you can use in your own way. Put them all in a tote, or a cute basket, etc! The tags include "Happy Mother's Day", "You're an EXTRA special woman and Mom! Love you!", and more. Obviously you grab items that fit the capitalized word, so EXTRA would be a flavor of Extra gum. This would be a fun project for teens or even for dad to do with the kids!

That's it for this week. Remember, I'll have more DIY Mother's Day gifts for next Thursday so if you have something you want me to help find, leave your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Bookish Items I Want!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Today's Topic: Top Ten Bookish Things (that aren't books) That You Would Like To Own

I'm late in posting this, but when I saw the topic, I knew I had to take part. I love owning book-themed items!


Of Mice and Men t-shirt from Out of Print Clothing

Harry Potter book purse from retrograndma
Notable Novelists card game from Notable Novelists

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: B is for Beer by Tom Robbins

B is for Beer by Tom Robbins

Review by Lauren

copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Once upon a time (right about now) there was a planet (how about this one?) whose inhabitants consumed thirty-six billion gallons of beer each year (it's a fact, you can Google it). Among those affected, each in his or her own way, by all the bubbles, burps, and foam, was a smart, wide-eyed, adventurous kindergartner named Gracie; her distracted mommy; her insensitive dad; her non-conformist uncle; and a magical, butt-kicking intruder from a world within our world.

Review: This was another book title I came across at the library while working. The title looked familiar and I thought it might be a bit enjoyable to read this "Children's Book for Grown-ups" or "Grown-up Book for Children" - whichever you prefer.

The book isn't very long, but it still took me a little bit to get into. It took me no more than an hour to read and there were certainly passages in the book that I found interesting. It wasn't as funny as I expected; instead, it offers up a good lesson on the limits of alcohol and how too much can affect you in a negative way. In that regard, it really did seem like a "Grown-up Book for Children" and as someone who does not drink alcohol, it's one I could appreciate. I don't mind people that drink, but in moderation!

As for the summary, where it mentions a "butt-kicking intruder from a world within our world", the author is actually talking about a beer fairy. Yes, a beer fairy. She was the one giving out all the wisdom on proper drinking, etc. to Gracie. One of her quotes was something I really liked though-

"Courage is where you find it. Having said that, I must admit that bravery that comes from a bottle - or from a book or a sermon, for that matter - lacks the full strength and purity of bravery that comes straight from the heart."

Overall, it was a very quick read that I was able to find some meaning out of...though if I gave ratings, I'd say this is around a three star read overall.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Theming Thursday: Free Easter Printables

Easter is coming up and I thought it would be fun to share a list of FREE Easter printables.

BluGrass Designs (via Catch My Party) has some fun, free printables for an Easter party. I really like these candy bar wrappers!

Joy Ever After shares some free One of My Favorite Peeps printables if you want to gift something a little fun to a friend!

Bunny Cakes offers some cute bunny cupcake toppers!

Whimsically Detailed is also giving away some fun Easter party printables!

The Rubber Punkin has some cute Egg Coloring party printables. There's the invitation (shown above) and some cute tags!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tune in Tuesday with The Beatles

Tune in Tuesday comes from Kate's Tales of Books and Bands

In honor of my review yesterday, I thought I would share my favorite Beatles song!

"Eleanor Rigby"
"Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review- The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story

The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story

Review by Lauren

copy from library, all opinions are my own

Official Summary: The Fifth Beatle is the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided the Beatles - from their gigs in a tiny cellar in Liverpool to unprecedented international stardom. Yet more than merely the story of "The Man Who Made the Beatles," The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the struggle to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Brian himself died painfully lonely at the young age of thirty-two, having helped the Beatles prove through "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" that pop music could be an inspirational art form. He was homosexual when it was a felony to be so in the United Kingdom, Jewish at a time of anti-Semitism, and from Liverpool when it was considered just a dingy port town.

Review: When people hear the term "The Fifth Beatle" they often think of Stuart Sutcliffe, who was a member of the Beatles before they become famous. So when I first saw this book at the library, that was who I assumed the book was about. I was glad to learn that, instead, I would be reading about a man who name I only recognized. As the back of the book reads, in a quote from Paul McCartney, "If anyone was the fifth beatle, it was Brian."

This book shows the enthusiasm and hard work that Brian put into the Beatles. He believed in them from the beginning and kept pushing until they were famous worldwide. What Brian did for the Beatles, though, he neglected to do for himself. As the summary says, he was gay and Jewish in a time when that was not accepted, and Brian seems to have had a lot of trouble living a truly fulfilling life.

The Beatles obviously cared for Brian, understanding and accepting him for who he was. One of the scenes in the book has Brian and John Lennon on a beach, with John pointing out guys to see who Brian fancied. You can see some of that here:

That also gives you a look at the drawing and color too. The book spans a lot of years, and I did find some parts a bit confusing (especially at the end), but overall, I really liked this look at Brian Epstein. It really shows how the Beatles were helped made famous by a man that most people don't even remember. I hope that changes.

This was read for the graphic novel reading challenge

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Review by Lauren

In Stores April 8th!

copy from publisher, but all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Listen—Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t. 

Now he's alive again.
Simple as that. 

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he's still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she's not his girlfriend anymore? That's a bit fuzzy too. 

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars. 

Oh well, you only live twice.

Review: To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book when I first picked it up. I wasn't a huge fan of the title or the cover, as it made the story seem a bit immature. I want to mention this for those of you who may have first thoughts similar to mine because I can safely say now that I highly enjoyed this book. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read the book and get inside the head (pun intended) of Travis Coates.

Travis was sixteen and dying of cancer. There was no chance of his recovery, so he talked his parents into allowing him to join a science experiment. They would cut off his head, freeze it, and maybe sometime in the future he could be brought back to life. He never really thought it would work, and definitely not in five years time. Now, he's sixteen all over again, and he has to deal with his best friend Kyle and girlfriend Cate having grown up without him. Not to mention being stuck on another guys' body instead of his own. Travis is definitely having a rough "second life."

I liked that the overall story is a typical coming-of-age. Travis' life is different from most (there is only one other person who has successfully survived this experiment) but he still has to deal with typical teenage situations like girls, friends, and family life. It's weird to imagine someone coming back to life, but Whaley made it seem realistic. There wasn't a lot of details concerning the science, but there didn't really have to be. It makes sense that something like this could exist, and besides, the after-effects are much more interesting.

There were moments in the book where you wanted to shake Travis into reality. His emotions were stuck in the past, while those he most cared about had grown up. It was easy to see both sides of their situations, but it's hard to see Travis continually reach for something you don't think he can get. He's a character you grow to care for and understand though. As are the rest of the characters. I especially liked Travis' new friend, Hatton. He's obsessed with girls, always speaking his mind, and pretty hilarious.

In the end, if you aren't sure about this book, I would suggest giving it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised!

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