Sunday, February 23, 2014

What I'm Reading: The Bone Season

I've been looking forward to reading The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon long before it came out.  It's definitely not chick lit, but I'm a fan of a few other similar type of science fiction and fantasy series such as The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Harry Potter.  The Bone Season is the first in a series of seven books. 

The story takes places in 2059, and the main character, Paige Mahoney, is a dreamwalker who can enter into other people's thoughts.  The world is controlled by the authority of Scion, and her very existence as one of the clairvoyants is illegal.  When she is captured and arrested, however, it is not by Scion, but another powerful race, the Rephaim.  She must learn to adapt to living among their kind, obeying their rules.  Much like Katniss in The Hunger Games, you will be rooting the heroine Paige on as she endures her training and fights for not only her survival, but that of friends she encounters along the way.
I tore through this 450 page book in three days.  A foot of snow on the ground and sick kiddo who spent time napping actually gave me time to sit down and read.  This was a page-turner that I had a tough time putting down.  It will be interesting to see where the author takes this series.  Although there is a need for a sequel, I'm not sure how seven books will come of this.  I thought a few sections could have been edited to shorten the book.  There are lots and lots of details and background information that can be overwhelming to the reader.  That didn't stop me from enjoying it immensely though.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Yogurt Treats

These frozen heart-shaped treats are very simple to make.  My daughter thinks they are a special treat, but they are made mostly from yogurt!  We used sprinkles to decorate ours, but you could also use dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, diced nuts, or more.






Ingredients

Yogurt
Sprinkles or other favorite toppings

Directions
  1. Line flat tray or plate with parchment paper.
  2. Scoop yogurt into pastry bag or ziploc bag with a small corner cut off.
  3. Squeeze yogurt onto parchment paper in desired shape.
  4. Top with sprinkles or your choice of topping.
  5. Freeze for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What is Chick Lit?



One of my friends asked me to describe First Sight, and she seemed confused when I called it Chick Lit.  The beginning of our conversation went something like this:

"What type of book is it?"
"Chick Lit."
"Is it a Romance?"
"Not really, it's Chick Lit."

When I think of Romance Novels, I think of something like Harlequin.  The story focuses solely on the relationship between the hero and heroine.  The main point of the book is love and sex. 

Chick Lit focuses more broadly on the life of the heroine.  Although there is usually a romance in Chick Lit novels, the story also focuses on the heroine's relationships with her friends, family, coworkers, etc.  It's lighter than women's fiction and usually has humor sprinkled throughout the story.

I checked out a couple of books at the library several months ago, Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella and Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger.  I thought it was interesting that one was categorized as Fiction while the other was categorized as Romance.


I would love it if the library, bookstores, and Amazon had Chick Lit as its own genre or subcategory.  It would make finding books in that genre easier for everyone.  Amazon does have a new subcategory called "Romantic Comedy" in the Kindle store, so for now that is the closest match to Chick Lit itself.

How do you define Chick Lit?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cheesy Beer Bread

This cheesy beer bread is incredibly easy to make, and you probably have the ingredients already on hand.  The best part is, there is no yeast or kneading required!




Cheesy Beer Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 or 3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 12 oz beer
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  •  
    Directions
     
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Grease loaf pan.
    3. In large mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cheese, and onions.
    4. Pour in bottle of beer and mix just until moistened.
    5. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and drizzle melted butter on top.
    6. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes. Remove and cool 10 minutes.
    Note: If you do not like bread with a thick crust, mix the butter into the batter instead of pouring it over the top.
     
    Enjoy!

    Monday, February 3, 2014

    Rainy Day Favorites

    We were supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow today, but instead it's just been rain, rain, and more rain.  These are some of my favorites for mommy and kiddo!





     
    What are your favorites for a rainy day?