What’s On Your Nightstand? March Edition

 Thanks once again to the folks at 5 Minutes for Books, I had another excuse to grab books off my shelves and revisit some that I absolutely loved. Is there any better escape while waiting for spring to arrive than diving into a book? I started out my month with an old favorite:

The movie was very loosely based on this novel. The book was more than three women jilted by their exes and looking for revenge. It delves into parenting a special needs child, aging, suicide, sexual identity, aging parents…and getting revenge on the husbands that jilted them.

After First Wives’ Club, I read Coastliners by Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat.  It didn’t thrill me. The story of a woman returning to her home on an island off the coast of France after running away with her mother when she was a girl. Her father is not the most communicative. The small town is dying from lack of tourism. A charming stranger is lurking about. Our heroine sets out to save the town, and rebuild her relationship with her father. I should have loved it, and really can’t put my finger on why I didn’t. It was just…eh.

After that debacle, I reached for another old favorite, Moviola by Garson Kanin. The story is told through the eyes of Ben Farber, who saw the creation of the movie industry from Edison through the 1970s. Ben dishes about Fatty Arbuckle, the search for Scarlett O’Hara, Marilyn Monroe. I was in heaven!

Next up for me was the Three Sisters Island trilogy by Nora Roberts:

Legend has it that three women who are descendents from three witches have to face similar trials. If they fail, their island home will fall into the sea. Each book focuses on each of the women involved. I do love this series, and think the first book of it will always be my favorite. I always walk away from this series wanting to play in my garden, whip up great little delicacies, open a bookstore, and save the world.

I finished off my month with light and fluffy reads by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes that had me laughing out loud:

Full House starts of the series with the story of Billie and Nick, a single mom and a millionaire playboy who fall hard for one another. They have all the usual romantic roadblocks: a cousin who’s marrying a wrestler, another cousin who sets off small bombs, spider and roach infestations, break-ins in the neighborhood, an exploding car…ok, maybe not typical, but they are pretty funny! The last three novels (Full Tilt, Full Speed, and Full Blast) revolve around the cousin who used to set off bombs is now a grown-up millionaire playboy with a talking car, a gorgeous newspaper owner who is his partner, and lots of unbelievable mysteries that only they can solve. These books are definitely brain candy, and a perfect beach read, and I was thrilled to discover that there’s a couple more books in this series. Ummm…there is quite a bit of, er, smut in this series, but it didn’t seem to bother my mother-in-law one bit when she borrowed them.

Hop on over to 5 Minutes for Books to see what other people have been reading.


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Toddler Craft: Treasure Box

My little explorer loves “discovering” new things. On her walks, it may be stones, leaves, or sticks. Around the house it might be a key chain from her older brother, a hair tie from her big sister, an interesting scrap of paper…you get the idea. One thing all the objects have in common is they are  important to her. Another thing they all have in common is there is no place to put them. Enter the “Treasure Box”.

We took an old shoe box, and glued noodles to the lid. After the glue dried, it was time to break out the poster paint and paint the box, noodles and all. When the paint dried, it was time to decorate with stickers. After the stickers were applied…TADA! a box to store her “treasures”.

We do have two rules for her “treasures” and treasure box. If the “treasure” doesn’t fit into her box, she can’t keep it. Same goes for “treasures” that, um, move.

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WFMW: Light It Up!

Don’t you love it when you go to light a candle in the bottom of a hurricane lamp and find the grill lighter is out of fuel? Yeah, me neither. In desperation, I discovered a great way to over come this problem: a spaghetti noodle. Simply light the end of an uncooked spaghetti noodle, and viola! let there be light.

That’s what works for me! Find out what’s working for others at Rocks In My Dryer.

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Children’s Classic Mystery Challenge: Volume 2

Oh, how I’ve been loving the Children’s Classics Mystery Challenge! How often do you get an excuse to regress into   revisit your childhood? This month I pulled out a favorite that had been read and re-read so much that the book’s appearance now shows how  well-loved it was in my youth.

The Great Christmas Kidnaping Caper by Jean Van Leeuwen is a story about a gang of three mice: Marvin, Fats, and Raymond. Marvin the Magnificent, the fearless leader, is looking for a place to spend the winter. What before his wondering eyes should appear, but Macy’s Department Store. In short order, he and his gang move into a doll house in the toy department. Just as quickly, they find themselves friends with the store’s Santa. And just about as quickly, their new friend disappears. It’s up to Marvin and his gang to find and rescue Santa in time for Christmas.

While re-reading my dog-eared copy of The Great Christmas Kidnaping Caper, I could easily see why this book kept me coming back so many times during my childhood. The thought of having a department store and all its treasures at my disposal as the characters did  certainly appeals to me even now.  I think, though, the thought of such a tiny being making such a huge difference was an empowering idea.

Hop on over to 5 Minutes For Books to see what others have been reading!

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Happy International Women’s Day!!!!

Honestly, I didn’t know it was an actual holiday. I receive forwards celebrating women camaraderie throughout the year, half of which end with wishing me a “Happy International Women’s Day”. Of course, they also tell me to forward the e-mail to twelve women within one minute or the elastic in my underwear will snap, but whatever. It’s the thought that counts.

I was fortunate enough to spend yesterday with two of my best friends at a Women’s Expo, doing lunch, and investing in some retail therapy. When I got home, I checked in with my mother and my mother-in-law– two smart, classy, and beautiful women who were thrilled to hear I was “out with the girls”, and encouraged me to do it more often. My evening was spent with my daughter, watching the first female director to ever accept an Academy Award. It was definitely a “Girl Power” fueled day from start to finish. I’m embarrassed to say that happens all too rarely around here, and I’m taking steps to spend more time with the women that mean so much to me.

I wish for all you incredible, sassy, smart women out there a happy International Women’s Day! Always remember the wisdom we learned in our youth…”Girls Rule, and Boys Drool!”

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I’d Like To Thank The Academy…

I Love Oscar Night! I know that may come as a shock, as I hardly mention movies. Ahem.  It’s rare, though, that I’ve seen the movies that are up for the awards. The last time I was in a theater was to see Sweeney Todd. No matter. It doesn’t stop me from making predictions to my family, or groaning when my picks don’t win.

What I really love about the Academy Awards, though, is watching them with my oldest daughter. We plan our evening over the course of a month. We have our own Academy Award that we made years ago, and drag it out prior to the big night. We toss on our favorite pjs, set out trays of our favorite foods, and tune in early so we can dish about the fashions the stars are wearing before the show starts.  Our comments regarding the outfits are generally favorable, but at times rival the cattiness found here.

This year is no exception. Oscar is on the entertainment center. The menu has been planned. Guesses about winners are still being made, based on favorite stars, or on movie titles, in place of actual knowledge about the films. Our Oscar wear has been laundered, and awaiting the big night.

This year our menu is pretty simple:

The male members of my family will undoubtably join us at some time during the evening, and I can guarantee my daughter and I will “shush” them several times throughout the show. We will then confuse them by talking ourselves, and not bother trying to explain the double standard. Ultimately, the evening is about my oldest daughter and I spending time  enjoying an evening together. And for that, I’d like to thank the Academy.

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Friday Fun: Time for some giggles!

Whew! What a week. It started out at a mad dash, and just continued the same pace. Just when I thought I was going to lose my mind, this little gem started popping up on my TV:

I think the “secret freckle” kid saved what’s left of my sanity.

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