Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rave: Entwined

Today's the day! You can now obtain your very own copy of Heather Dixon's novel, Entwined, which is simply ripping. I just finished reading it, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Here's what it has in it:

poofy dresses
secret passageways
invisibility cloaks
Merciless Teasing
hungry rugs
cinnamon bread
a pocketwatch
a clock tower
handsome suitors
balls (the kind you dance at)
and much much more!

This is one of those books that I had to force myself to put down because it was cutting into my productivity. ("That's not my fault :o)," Heather texted when I told her it was eating up my time. "Whatever," I texted back. "If you hadn't written it so well...")

The cover and the subject matter* may give the impression that this book is for girls. But look at that list above. There's a lot in there for boys to like too, particularly all the crazy magic and wars and secrecy and violence and all that. There really is a lot of violence. I bet my nephew would love it, and he's 15.

Heather's book is available in hard cover, as a Nook book, as a Kindle book, as an audio book on cd, as a downloadable audiobook, and even as a Playaway! Or, if you want to try to snag a copy for free, go to Heather's blog and enter her coloring contest. Don't forget to tell Heather how much you love her writing and how you can't wait for her next novel to come out too. :o)

*At its most basic, it is a retelling of the twelve dancing princesses... though that description really doesn't do it justice.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


For as long as I can remember, I have loved umbrellas. My favorites are the traditional cane-like kind that are long and have a curved handle at the end. I also like the compact kinds that are the size of a glasses case. I like the ones that automatically pop out, and I like the ones that have a knob for the handle. I like the clear plastic ones that kids sometimes have (especially the way the rain sounds as it hits that solid plastic), and I like the ones with the squishy gel handles. I like colorful umbrellas that have unusual shapes or ears on the top, and I like pretty parasols that aren't meant for water at all. Pretty much I love umbrellas.

Once upon a time, in high school, I bought a beautiful umbrella. It was a Cirque du Soleil* umbrella. It was not a cheap umbrella, but it was a fantastic umbrella. It got lots of compliments whenever I used it.

Unfortunately, I lost that umbrella.

So I bought a new one. Same kind, same price. Actually, someone might have given it to me as a gift. I'm not sure. At any rate, I got that lovely umbrella again.

Unfortunately, I lost that umbrella too.

That was when I stopped buying Cirque du Soleil umbrellas.

Now I have two main umbrellas: one in my closet, one in my car. I have a couple other brollies kicking around somewhere, but I don't actually know where they are, so I don't think they count. Queen Tuffett might also have my old rainbow umbrella from when I was little.

The thing I like about umbrellas is that they are mechanical, but not electric. They are non-digital. There are no batteries to wear down. Even on umbrellas that have electronic components, the actual functional umbrella part is a regular old non-battery-operated spring-loaded (or manual) mechanism. I don't worry about the umbrella in my trunk losing its charge as it sits there year after year; I know that whenever I need it I can pick it up and it will work just fine, even after such a long period of inactivity.

Ironically, I sometimes prefer not to use umbrellas in the rain. I just like to have them. I like to feel the rain on my head and my face, and when I carry an umbrella, it is usually so that people won't feel sorry for me for getting soaked, because they can clearly see that I have an umbrella and it is my choice not to use it. I will admit that I have started to use umbrellas more frequently the older I get, and I suspect that trend will continue as I age.

And now to leave you with, here is a stylish umbrella that every young lady should own (found here):

*I used to be mildly obsessed with Cirque du Soleil. Now I'm just a standard fan.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar




How can three little ingredients taste so delicious?

Time to try out the other flavors!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chocolate Chex

Does anyone else absolutely love Chocolate Chex? I think I could eat it all day long.


Thursday, March 3, 2011


I think I've hit some sort of milepost in my schooling. Yesterday when I saw a license plate that said "IR LAND" (and there was a space between the IR and the LAND) I actually thought "Information Retrieval Land" before I thought of the country.