Book Review: Smart Girl

smartgirlSmart Girl is the 3rd book in a series.  I have not read the other two but didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything, though I may go back to read them later. Smart Girl is about Miko Jin. (The previous 2 books are Party Girl about her friend Landon and Sweet Girl about her friend Max.)

I liked this book because it was about a girl who reads too many romance novels and that gives her a skewed view of romance. It reminded me of me, a bit.  Miko has had a crush on Max’s brother Liam since she first laid eyes on him.  She knows that they are absolutely meant to be but she has to figure out how to make Liam believe that too.

Liam seems to be with a new girl every time she sees him and he says he doesn’t do commitment. Miko ends up creating a list of how all the girls get the guy in her favorite romance novels and ends up going in to a work meeting with him and totally reading him the questions from 50 Shades of Grey!

Her plan seems to be working and she ends up at Liam’s house almost every night – which angers Landon because they are trying to run a business and Miko keeps slacking off her responsibilities – which is SO not like her.  Liam also acts like he doesn’t even know her when all their friends are out in a group even though Miko seems convinced they are “dating”.

Max ends up finding out about the two in a rather startling way and has a heart to heart with Miko about how Liam is not dating her and is keeping her a secret and she deserves more than that. Miko finally realizes what is going on she is forced to stop what she has going on with Liam, even though it breaks her heart.

However – every great romance novel has to have a grand gesture, right?  Well, you’ll have to read it to see if Liam just moves on with his life or does something big to win back Miko’s affection…

I really liked this book, it was a quick read and Miko was just “weird” enough that I felt connected to her.  She’s quirky, dresses kind of fun and colorful and is pretty smart when it comes to designing spaces. We certainly have our similarities and I was I was as successful and confident as she is!  All the characters were really great and while there were quite a few of them, they all brought their special pieces to the puzzle and their personalities were fun to see interact.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review,  I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Brilliant designer Miko Jin is a hopeless romantic. She’s spent most of her life falling in love over and over again…with the men she finds in the pages of her favorite novels.

When Miko meets Liam Ashton, it’s love at first sight. At least, for her. Sure, the two of them are polar opposites, and yes, he seems to be dating someone new each week. But Miko knows what true love is and that you can’t rush it—after all, what she lacks in real-world experience, she makes up for in book smarts. With novels as her guide, and her best friends by her side, she knows she can get Liam to love her back. But just like any good romance novel, fate has a few plot twists in store. Will Miko get her own happy ending? Will she find the strength to stand up for what she deserves even if it means breaking her own heart?

Book Review: Destination Thailand

destinationthailandI was looking for a good book to read while I was traveling and came across Destination Thailand. It is the first book in the Lonely Hearts Travel Club series and I have to say, I am hooked.  The main character is Georgia. She is supposed to be getting married to Alex, but he has called the wedding off.  To get her mind off things, Georgia and her best friend Marie take off to Turkey for a bit.  While there, Georgia makes a travel bucket list.  After getting fired from her job (what else can go wrong for this poor girl?) she makes the decision to go to Thailand on a 6 week tour.

A newbie to traveling on her own, she is easily targeted by scammers.  When things aren’t going like she had thought they would she leaves the tour and heads to the Blue Butterfly that her travel agent had recommended for her. While there she meets up with a few other travelers who are more like her.

After being forced to come home early, she needs to find a job.  But what is it that she really wants to do?  Create The Lonely Hearts Travel Club, of course!

While the book tied up most of the story line nicely, it did leave a bit of an opening for book #2 – but not a crazy cliffhanger where you’re dying for March to get here and the 2nd book.  I will certainly be looking into reading Destination India to see what happens with Georgia and her new job!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

What if you had a second chance… to find yourself?

Instead of slipping on her something borrowed and tripping up the aisle to wedded bliss, Georgia spends her big day crying into a warm Sex-on-the-Beach, wondering where it all went wrong.

Forced to make a bucket list of her new life goals by her best friend Marie, it’s not long before travel-virgin Georgia is packing her bags for a long-haul adventure to Thailand.

Yet, Georgia’s big adventure doesn’t seem to be going to plan. There’s strange sights, smells, and eating bugs. Plus she seems to fall for every traveller scam there is. Maybe her family is right and she really is too naive to do this alone.

But the good thing about falling apart is that you can put yourself back together any way you please. And new Georgia might just be someone she can finally be proud of…

The new favourite series for fans of The Curvy Girls Club, the Shopaholic series and Eat, Pray, Love.

This year it is time to find the place where you truly belong…

Book Review: Choose Your Own Misery: The Office Adventure

miseryAs I think I’ve mentioned before, as a kid I loved the choose your own adventure books. I think because you could read them over and over with different outcomes and it seemed almost as if I was writing my own book even though someone else already had because I could pick the outcomes for myself.  When I saw there was a new series called “Choose Your Own Misery” and the first was “The Office Adventure” I knew I just had to check it out.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to work as an e-book since you couldn’t easily flip to the pages for the next part of your misery, but I quickly found out that the end of each chapter had links. So rather than flipping to page 94 or 32 depending on your scenario, you simply “click here”.

In our misery story we are a guy who is hung over and wants to sleep through his alarm.  Do you call in sick and use your LAST vacation day (and it’s only March) or figure out a way to get in to work late with no one noticing?  I ended up reading this I think 5 times – all reads went very, very quickly but each story had very different results – meetings with the boss, trying to set up the IT guy with a co-worker to get some of your vacation time back, catching a coworker having sex in a bathroom stall, a fight with a cabby… and basically if you think your life at the office is bad – you’ll feel a lot better about yourself and your situation after seeing the kind of scenarios the guy in this book gets himself into!

I hope that there will be more Choose Your Own Misery stories to read because reading this one was a lot of fun!

I received a free e-copy in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the book

Hungover and stuck at a job you hate, will you show up for your big presentation, or duck out with Debby, the HR rep with an FDR fetish? Play the weird lump on your back for office-wide sympathy, or dive into an internet spiral that can only end in “ten kinds of cancer”? Tell someone about the weird genital-fondling that’s happening at the crystal healer’s, or just accept that this is the best substitute you’ll find for love, today…or maybe ever?

From two comedy writers and past contributors to The Onion comes a modern-day tale of woe: the story of your soul-crushing existence. Choosing your own adventure is great when you’re a kid, but in the adult world, the only options on offer are endless varieties of misery. In your office adventure there are countless “options,” but they rarely end well. It’s okay, though. A life of adventure would require so many uncomfortable sleeping situations. Besides, you have dental. Keep reminding yourself about the dental.

Book Review: My DisOrganised Life

disorganisedMy DisOrganised Life is about Eve.  We first meet Eve when she is getting arrested and trying to get out of it by dancing all up on a police officer after starting a fight with her cheating ex and his new girlfriend.  Of course, someone in the bar records the incident on video and she becomes a viral sensation on her college campus.

Eve is all about lists and ends up putting together a list of things to do in her twenties.  She has a new boyfriend, they are living together and she is on her way to working the things off of her list one by one.  When the TV show she is working on doesn’t do proper background checks on a couple that is supposed to be participating, somehow it ends up as Eve’s fault.  She thinks that her boyfriend, Adam (yes, Adam and Eve) is close to proposing and in an effort to save her job agrees that they will go on the show as the final pair of contestants. But when the proposal goes horribly wrong, Eve gives Adam the space he says he wants but then decides that she never really loved him.

The rest of the book kind of goes back and forth between the ridiculous reality TV show that Eve is working on and her personal life.  She seems to be crushing on one of her coworkers but isn’t sure if he is into her too or if she is just imagining it.

Eve is a fun character and I loved reading all her ridiculous lists and all the expectations she had for herself, as well as cheering her on when she was able to cross some items off the list.  This was a fun book to read because Eve got herself in some interesting predicaments.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A viral video of drunkenness and vomiting over a policeman is the stuff of nightmares, and so is living back home with your religious, nutty parents. Fed up with life not going her way and turning quietly insane, Eve Poots comes up with a plan. Well more of a list of “things to do while she’s still twenty-something”.

Six months later, and the list is working its power: she is now living with her new boyfriend, junior doctor Adam, and working as an assistant to TV producer Alastair on a reality show – life really is on the up.

But then it all starts to crumble and she soon realises that what the list should have really said was:

  1. An awful colleague hell-bent in making her life agonising – check
  2. An unplanned engagement – check
  3. Lusting for dashing TV director when she has a perfectly decent boyfriend at home – check
  4. Seeking help from a sex therapist – check
  5. Growing a back-bone – pending

Has her life suddenly turned into a TV melodrama of its own?

Throwback Thursday: Maroon Effect 5/18/07

Headliner: Pat McGee
Opener(s): The Season
Venue: Webster Hall NYC
Cost: $32



David Wright of the New York Mets put this benefit concert together to help raise money for Virginia Tech after the shooting there since his brother was a student at the school.  Pat McGee – who had opened for Hanson but somehow never at any of the shows that I went to headlined. I dragged my brother along.  They had raffles and I won tickets to Jon Stewart!

2016 Crafty To-Do List

I used to make these large to-do lists for the year and then come December never do any of it – which is part of the reason why I decided to start doing the Anti-Bucket List instead – to reflect on what I *did* do instead of what I *didn’t*

But since crafting is a little bit different and I don’t have to rely on weather or other people willing to go on adventures with me or money (I do have most of these supplies already) I’m going to give it a go.  I am also going to try and re-visit the list in July-ish to see where I am at.

Hopefully the process or at least the finished product will make its way on to the blog at some point as well.

Make a stamp using the Silhouette Cameo
Engrave something using the Silhouette Cameo
Do more stamping on scrapbook pages
Use embossing powders on scrapbook pages
Try to make my own embossing folder
Design and make my own Christmas cards
Make an overlay that I didn’t copy from somewhere else that I don’t end up throwing out
Use more stencils on layouts either with inking or sprays
Metal stamping


So You Want To Go To BTTI?


With 2017’s Back To The Island announced, I figured I should put something together like I did for MOE.

Back To The Island is a 5 day, 4 night event in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and Jewel Paradise Cove.  2017 will be the second year the event is held at this resort.  In order to go, you must be a member.  If you are not yet, join now!  (Your membership needs to be valid through the trip dates so if you join now you’ll be set.)

When Should I Come?

Definitely as early as you can on the 4th if you can’t add extra days.  If you can add an extra day before the event you’ll be golden, but it is not required.  The first day the only activity is checking in to get your group assignment and merch and then the Hanson concert that night (assume a 9 or 10pm start time)

How Long Does It Take To Get To The Resort?

I’d budget at least 3 hours from the time you land to get through customs, immigration and get your shuttle to the resort.  I personally like to land around noon – 1pm if I can.

What Airport Do I Fly To?

Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ) is the only airport that has the provided shuttles to the resort. The shuttle ride is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Can I Come Early And Stay At A Different Resort?

Yes, but you will have to figure out how to get from that resort to Jewel Paradise Cove for the event, as Island Gigs will only take care of shuttles upon arrival at MBJ. (If anyone who did this in 2016 can comment with how you worked it out, it would be appreciated)

When Should I Leave?

Keep in mind the last night that Taylor’s after party will probably go until 2am, give or take.  Shuttles to the airport leave roughly 4 hours before your flight (I had a 1:10pm flight and was on an 8:50am shuttle – shuttles seem to leave every hour).  If you can’t add an extra day on at the end, try to book your flight as late as you can if you don’t want an early wake up call.  Or book an early flight and leave right after the after party!

What Are The Add On Activities and How Much Are They?

Island Gigs generally schedules 2 excursions for each trip, but does not announce them until much closer to the trip dates (December).  This year it was a tour of Nine Mile – Bob Marley’s birth and resting place as well as a trip to Dunn’s River Falls to climb water falls.  The past couple of years we were only able to choose 1 of the excursions due to scheduling conflicts if not.  The excursions were $50-$60.  The hotel also offered booking for excursions as well which you might want to look into if you add extra days. [Edit: it looks like these can be booked when booking your trip for 2017]

What Are the Concerts Like?

There will be 3 Hanson concerts, on the first night, the second night and the last night.  These are full sets and voting for themes will be happening in March.  Each Hanson will also do a solo set of about 45 minutes.  The second to last night will be the special guests concert.

How Do Group Assignments Work?

Red or Green passes are handed out when you check in with Island Gigs and pick up your merch package.  Typically all of one color is given out first then the second color.  In instances when excursions interfere with group activities you will be placed in a group that will not cause interference. If you want to be in the same group as your friends, try to check in at the same time.  Island Gigs typically does not allow you to change colors, however if you can organize it on your own amongst other fans you can switch.

What Does the Schedule Typically Look Like?

For an idea, this was the 2016 schedule:

January 5th
10pm Hanson Concert

January 6th
11am – Bracelets with Zac (Green) / Tie Dye With Taylor (Red)
3pm – Trivia with Isaac (Red)
5:30pm – Zac Solo Concert
10pm – Hanson concert

January 7
11am – Bracelets with Zac (Red) / Tie Dye with Taylor (Green)
3pm – Trivia with Isaac (Green)
5:30pm – Taylor Solo Concert
10pm – Special Guests concert

January 8
8:30am – leave for excursions
1:30pm – Photos with Hanson
5:30pm – Isaac solo concert
10pm – Hanson concert
12:00am – After party with Taylor

How Is The Weather?

Typically in the mid-80s.  It did get a lot cooler during the thunderstorm this year, obviously.  But for the most part, hot and humid.

Is There Anything Special I should Bring?

Sunscreen. Bug spray.  If you don’t want to tie dye your event t-shirt, something 100% cotton to tie dye.  Money for souvenirs and tipping (not required, but if you have an awesome staff member, and you will, it might be nice)  There is a small gift shop at the resort with clothing, postcards, trinkets, etc. Be sure to let your credit or debit card bank know you will be in Jamaica along with the dates so that your card is not declined.

I also recommend that you bring a pair of shorts in your carry on if you want to change when you land at the airport.  The shuttles this year did have A/C though.  If checking a bag, you might want to toss a couple days worth of clothes in your carry on as well in case luggage gets lost.

Make sure to have your passport and a blue or black ink pen handy on the plane to fill out your customs forms.

How Do Island Gigs Payments Work?

When booking there is an $800 down payment.  If you have a roommate it will be a $400/$400 split.  If you do not have a roommate at the time of booking you will be responsible for the $800 down payment.  Once you add a roommate you can have the $800 credited to your portion of the room.  (If you do not yet have the name of a roommate choose the single booking and Island Gigs can change it to a double once you have a roomies name)
There are 2 payment plans – one is $400 at booking / $500 in July and the balance by October 1-per person.
I do the monthly, it begins April 1 and runs until October 1 and divides into even monthly payments of the balance due after the deposit is made.
You can log into your account and pay more money down on the booking outside of the payments if you want.

What Are The Rooms Like?

Most of the rooms have 1 king bed.  Some rooms do have 2 twins and they will try to accommodate as many requests as they can.  The closets are pretty big. All rooms have a hair dryer.  The outlets are just like the US outlets. Some rooms have showers and some rooms have tubs.  If you go to Trip Advisor you can read from people who have visited before as well as look through their galleries as well.

What information of my roommates do I need in order to book?

Their legal first and last names. Their email address (that matches their Island Gigs account, if they have one) their name (You cannot get past the page without entering this, so it is important that you know it!)  Their address and phone number (which should populate if they have an Island Gigs account and you entered their email address – but make sure you have it just in case).  It also asks for their birthday, but there is a box to check if you don’t know it.  It will prompt you to enter their credit card information as well, but it seems if they log in the same day to pay their down payment it should not be a problem.  If you’d rather the peace of mind by booking for both of you at the same time you need their credit card number, expiration date and the 3 digit code from the back of the card.


If there are any other questions – leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer!

Book Review: The Time Chamber

chamberThe Time Chamber is not only a coloring book, but also a magical story.  The story is about a fairy who lives inside the cuckoo clock, but decides to come out of her hiding spot to hang out in the room of a little girl.  She finds all sorts of magical treasures underneath the girls bed.  All of the items are featured on the pages and you can color them however you’d like.  I like that in addition to being a story it is a coloring book because you feel more immersed in the pages with the story to go along with it while you color, almost as if you are involved with making the story unique to you.  I haven’t started to color it yet, but am looking forward to going on another adventure with the red haired fairy – but this time coloring the pages instead of reading them.  The drawings are very cool – I was drawn to the book because of the gears on the front cover and they are throughout the book since she lives in a clock and I can’t wait to get started!

I received a free copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book

Korean artist Daria Song’s sequel to The Time Garden takes readers on a visual journey into a magical nighttime world seen through the eyes of a fairy.

This second book in the bestselling Time coloring series features the voyage of a fairy who, when the cuckoo clock chimes midnight, enters the human world. To the tiny fairy, everything seems enormous and magical, from the curtains to the chandelier to a mystical rowboat that takes her further into an inky adventure. With her she packs her favorite items, which colorers can find throughout the book’s pages: an owl-feathered pen, a star-scented spray, a time tape measure…even the key to the time chamber itself!

Filled with the imaginative, intricately detailed illustrations Song’s readers have come to love, The Time Chamber presents a view of our world made new—and ready for coloring.

The Time Chamber features extra-thick craft paper, ideal for non bleed-through coloring, and the jacketed cover with flaps is removable and colorable. Special gold-foil stamping on the cover and spine and a To/From page make it perfect for gifting to adults and kids alike.

BTTI 16: Traveling Home


This was probably one of the more eventful trips home. While I didn’t have weather to worry about, my shuttle to the airport was leaving at 8:50am and I didn’t get in bed until about 3am.  I got to the lobby a little after 8 to check out and wait for the shuttle.  They were taking our luggage on a box truck and we took 2 buses to the airport.

Getting through security, I couldn’t take my shoes off and usually they do not make me, but they made me go sit down and then walk back to pass my shoes through.  Walking barefoot with all my stuff plus my shoes was a bit of a challenge, but I survived!

Once I got to my gate, I found Auntie Ann’s Pretzels and grabbed something to eat since I was not sure when I would be able to eat again.  Hearing any announcements was difficult as well.  It turned out our flight was delayed by 30 minutes.  The flight was also supposed to be full, but amazingly no one ended up sitting in the middle seat next to me – again!

When I landed at Baltimore, the flight attendant helped me get my stuff to the wheelchair and told the attendant “take good care of her” and it was all downhill from there.  The attendant was pushing my wheelchair as well as another woman’s.  This woman was with her daughter and they had to pick up luggage and were done.  I didn’t have luggage and still had another flight.  At this point it was about 5:30 and I was due to take off at 6:15.  The guy left me where you drop off your bags for the connecting flight and promised that I would make my flight but that he was going to help the other woman first because she didn’t have another flight.

When it started creeping closer and closer to 6, the girls in the baggage area started looking for the guy. With no sign of him, someone else grabbed me and got me to the gate with little time to spare.  There also turned out to be a sorority on my flight that had to check their bags so they ended up holding the flight and I still got a window seat despite not preboarding but I was very nervous that I was going to miss the flight – through no fault of my own.

Getting back to Hartford was a breeze, landed to snow on the ground and the tire pressure light on in my car… but that always happens because of the temperature changes.


BTTI 16: Activities


Each Hanson brother has an activity that they do with the fans. Our first activity was bracelet making with Zac.  We got in line and when we were approaching the door we were told that the session was full so he would have to do a 2nd one for the rest of us. Staff seemed surprised it was full… let’s do some math.  400 fans there (roughly) and they are split in half with red and green passes… so 200.  And we are trying to fit into a room that holds 100…

We ended up hanging around for an hour while session 1 did their thing because we weren’t sure if people would try to get into both sessions and if we were first in line we knew we’d make it in.  Zac ended up coming by and asking if we were waiting for the second session and when we said yes, he said good because he would be a pro by then.  We had red, green, yellow and black thread and were instructed to make a knotted bracelet. At first I couldn’t remember how I made them but once Zac said “make a 4” it all came back to me and I was off to the races.  He came by the check on everyone and said that if you made 10 knots it would be “really big” and I told him “not that big, I have 10 already” and he seemed annoyed I knew what I was doing! lol  He also mentioned that they did bracelets because most of us made them when we were 12 and that is when a lot of us found Hanson.   I remember selling them for money so I could buy Teen Beat and Tiger Beat magazines!

Our second activity was the following day with Taylor.  It was tie dye.  I had done tie dye at the 2 other BTTI events with Zac and that went well, but this year it was a mess. Literally and figuratively.  The shirts looked good when we first opened them, but all the dye started to drop down to the bottom of the shirts and looking at the initial photo when I first opened the shirt to what I am wearing now that it is done it looks like a totally different shirt.  The shirts we were given were also not 100% cotton, which is what is recommended so that might have been the problem.  Note to self – when Michaels has a sale during the year, stock up on a few just in case it is an activity again in the future! My bag for the trip got tie dyed, the strap on my brace did too.. and of course, my hands.  They provided only 1 glove per person and it was so hot that I just gave up.

The final activity was trivia with Isaac, which once again I found to be hard – but moreso because I don’t have their song lyrics memorized well enough than the fact that the questions were hard. (There was one tour related question that I found to be super easy!)  I have the first two albums lyrics down to the point I can recite them at the drop of a hat. Anything beyond that came out when I was in college and had less and less free time to listen to their CDs over and over.  And while I probably could sing along to most of the songs if they played them live (that’s actually probably a lie too though since they did a few in the concerts I couldn’t really sing along to aside from the chorus), giving me a snippit of a lyric didn’t trigger anything in my brain. So, note to self, if they do trivia again next year, spend a couple weeks before listening to all the Members Only EPs to get familiar with the lyrics!  The sad thing is, I re-did the lyrics section of hansonstage not too long ago too, but that was no help. And while I had WiFi I felt that even using my own website to cheat was still cheating so I didn’t look anything up.

Overall I liked these activities more than last years, though I did kind of miss painting. (Kind of) But not the anxiety that came with trying to figure out how to bring home a ceramic piece of art.


Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :