Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review --"The Rescue" by Nicholas Sparks


It's no secret that I'm a Nicholas Sparks fan. My love affair with his writing began when I read "The Guardian" a few years ago. That same week, I completed 2 more of his books. During the time when I was regaining my love for reading, it was always Nicholas Sparks that I could count on for a good story.

I picked up "The Rescue" during that time, but never made it through the first few chapters. I never picked it up again until about a month ago. It took me a long time to read this one. Normally, I'd take about a week, start to finish, for a Nicholas Sparks book, but this one took me a month. I could put it down and forget about it... it wasn't something that I wanted to keep reading every night. Last night, I was determined that I was going to finish the book, so I read for about 4 straight hours. The second half of the book was a little faster than the first half.

One of the themes for this book is "rescue" -- obviously you could tell that from the title. One of the main characters is a Volunteer Firefighter, who is always the first to go in for the big saves. One night, during a major storm, he finds a car that has crashed in a swampy area. He finds a woman who was injured and her son is missing. He goes on to find her son, and is their hero.

Of course, in true Nicholas Sparks style. they go on to fall in love and all that mushy stuff. But it is more than just physically rescuing someone, it deals with the emotional "rescue" after tragedy strikes. It's about dealing with demons from the past that affect everything you do.

Overall, the book was ok... not one of my favorites... but not bad. It still managed to make me cry. There were parts where I thought Sparks was going into way too much detail about things... things that really didn't need to be explained, and I think that is what made the story drag.

If I used a rating system on this blog, I'd give it a 3...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friends


I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about the number of friends that I really have. The number isn't as high as I feel that it should be, and that disappoints me. I'm not talking about acquaintances... I'm talking about true, always there for you, could call in the middle of the night, would bail you out of jail, friends. The type of friends that you know are there for you and always will be there for you.

Currently, I have 541 "friends" on Facebook, but if you were to subtract the number of people that I've actually seen in the past 6 months, or even had a conversation with, in person, online or even via text message, that number would be significantly less. Even less of those people are people that I would consider calling in the middle of the night if I really needed something. Most of them fall into that acquaintances category.

I miss having friends -- people to do things with on the weekends, people to talk to, to get advice from. There are a lot of things that I would love to do, but miss out on, simply because I don't want to do them alone. The majority of the time when I do things, it is with my family. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with that, but sometimes, you get tired of hanging out with only people that you are related to.

If it wasn't for the Internet, I would be even more lonely than I am right now. People sometimes question if real friendships can be made with people online -- people that you haven't met in real life... I think the answer to that is yes. I have met a lot of people, especially on twitter, that over time have become what I consider to be a friend. There are people that I've never met, that I know if I needed advice on something, I could talk to them about it and they would give me an honest answer.

Tweetups have been great -- they get me out of the house and give me a chance to interact with people. Tupperware has also introduced me to a lot of other consultants. But outside of those two things, I don't do much of anything. I don't know how to meet people. A lot of the people that I know are either married, or have kids. Its like I'm stuck in some post-college, pre-marriage gap, and there don't seem to be a lot of people in the same place that I am, especially living in a college town like Greenville.

I've had close friends in the past, and it seems like I always get taken advantage of. Maybe I am too nice. I pride myself on being a very giving person, but I guess when you give all the time, and never are on the receiving end, you tend to get run over. I feel like I am a good friend, I just wish that I felt like my friendship is something that people appreciate.

Just had to get all of that out there... really not trying to be all "woe is me..." How do you meet people and form true, lasting friendships?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Double the Diapers

One of my oldest friends, Miranda, is pregnant with twin girls. Today was her baby shower. Her due date is about 3 weeks after my sister (mid July) but she will probably have the girls earlier. She wanted me to make diaper cakes to be centerpieces for the shower today. I was very excited to make these, as they are the first diaper cakes that I have made for little girls. Here are the cakes that I made for babies Ava and Emma.

They were a hit at the shower! Everyone loved them. People keep telling me that I should start making them to sell, and after looking at some of the prices on Etsy, I might have to consider it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baby Bouquet

I promise that all of my posts won't be about babies... just let me get through July... well, then you might be seeing a lot of my nephew, but you can deal right?

The Internet is a great resource for people like me, who are not content with just wrapping a baby shower gift and being done with it. I'm always finding new ideas, and you know me... I have to try them all. About a month ago, I was reading Hope's Blog and saw that she had made a Baby Clothing Bouquet. She posted the instructions, and it seemed easy enough! I did watch a few tutorials on youtube, as I am a visual learner.


I picked up all of the supplies, and got started. I used:


  • 5 pack of Onesies
  • 5 pack of Baby Hats
  • 6 pack of socks
  • 5 pack of washcloths

That was enough to give me a variety of sizes. I also picked up some silk flowers, with the intention of adding them in, but when I was finished, I decided that it would be just too much to add them in. I did strip the leaves off of the flowers and used them to make the buds look more like "real" flowers.


At first, I was ready to give up this project... It was a little tedious getting the floral tape to cooperate, but once I got the in the groove, it turned out well.


Here is a close up of the flowers:

I got a cheap basket at Walmart from the Easter aisle, and it was the perfect size to hold all of the gifts. To cover up the floral foam, I put a sheet of tissue paper down, then stuck the flowers in it. Here's a shot of the whole thing.

For the finishing touches, I tied a bow, made of curling ribbon, directly on the basket handle, and left long streamers that I curled. I thought about wrapping it in cellophane, but decided against it. Here is the final product, ready to be delivered to the mom and her new baby.


This one went to my mom's coworker. Her baby TJ was born on Easter Sunday. My mom delivered the basket over their Spring Break, and she said that her coworker really liked it!

I'm doing a smaller version of this project to be used as centerpieces at my sister's baby shower!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Emotions

If you really know me, you know that I'm a "wear my heart on my sleeve" kind of girl. I think that I've pretty much always been that way. I think that showing emotions can be a good thing, but also a bad thing.

There are some people that show so much emotion that they are pretty much a walking basket case. These people annoy me. They are usually the same people that perpetuate drama. On the other hand, there are some people that show no emotion at all. These are the people that you can never read... you never know what they are thinking, or how they feel about anything.

I'm somewhere in the middle, I think. Sometimes, I hold everything in, but people can usually tell how I feel. I sometimes cry at the smallest things, or things that other people would never think to cry over. A very good example of this is movies. There have been some movies that have made me cry, such as "Bride Wars," where I was probably the only person in America to become emotional. I also cry at pretty much every Adam Sandler movie...

It's healthy to show emotions. Sometimes, a good cry can make even the worst day better. Of course, our society says that it is more acceptable for women to show their emotions, especially when it comes to crying. One thing that tears me up every time is seeing a man cry. I don't care who he is... if he is crying, I will be too... without fail.

How emotional are you?

Sister Survey

Saw this on Facebook, and I'm a little bored...

Whats your sisters name?
Stephanie

Are you a big sis or a little sis?
both!

How old is she?
22

What is the age difference between the two of you?
About 28 months

Do you two have any nicknames for each other?
She sometimes calls me "Crital" and I call her "Steph" but other than that, no.

Is she taller than you?
We're actually right about the same height.

Would you consider her one of your best friends?
Yes

Do you talk everyday?
Pretty much

Do the two of you live together?
Not anymore

Where do each of you live?
I live in Greenville, and she lives in Kinston.

Who do you think is the better looking of the two of you?
We kinda look alike, but I'd say her.

What is your fondest memory of each other?
We have lots of memories

What do you pick on them most about?
Nothing really...

What does she pick on you most about?
Again, nothing really

Which one of you is "the good one"?
Definitely her.

Do you fight often?
No

Who usually wins?
Physically, she could beat me up

Did you attend the same school ever?
Pretty much all through school

If so, did she act like she knew you, or ignore you?
We acted like we knew each other... there was no denying it.

Did you ever take the blame for something your sister did?
Probably at some point.

Did you ever break the law together?
Nothing major

What is the worst trouble you got into together?
I can't remember a time when we got into a whole lot of trouble together... we got into trouble separately.

Would you take a bullet for your sister?
Absolutely

Whats your favorite thing about your sister?
She's always there for me.

Whats your least favorite thing about her?
She's so much like my mom, lol.

Have the two of you ever fought over a guy?
Oh never...

Do you want to be just like your sister?
No, I think that's what makes us great. Our personalities are very different, but we have so much in common. We balance each other.

Do you share clothes?
No

Do you wish you had more sisters?
No

Do you consider your sister your best friend?
Absolutely

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Baby Baskets

It seems to be Baby Shower Season. I like to give practical gifts, that will be used, and not just something that will sit around or get thrown in a closet. I've admitted my problem of going overboard on gifts, and stressing over the presentation of the present. Its ok... I may be seeking help, haha. I like making diaper cakes, but they aren't always appropriate. Sometimes, its better to scale it down a bit and do something that doesn't leave the new mommy taking apart your creation.

I always think that baskets are simple and easy. You buy a few coordinating items, throw them in a basket, wrap them with cellophane, tie a bow, and take your gift on your merry way. Simple and easy.

For two separate baby showers in the last two weeks, I did just that. I found some great DVD baskets at Target that were the perfect container for the baby goodies. (They happened to be a great shade of blue, and both babies are boys, so that worked out just wonderful!) Not only do they look nice, they are the perfect size to hold diapers later on. For both baskets, I went with a "Bath Time" theme. I filled them with baby lotions, baby wash, wash cloths, bath toys, etc. One of the girls had registered for the cutest little robe, so there was no way I was leaving that out.

Here are pictures of the baskets (pre cellophane and bows...) Sorry if they are a little blurry... they were taken on my blackberry.


So, If you are looking for a quick and simple gift, and you feel that you aren't crafty enough to make a diaper cake... Baskets are the way to go. You could fill them with other items too... Feeding items like bottles and bibs, Various Clothing items, Children's Books... and the list goes on...

REWIND: March 2010

So, another month ended. I know I say this every month, but I really can't believe that it is already April! Seems like the weeks are just going by so fast these days. Overall, March was a good month... here's a run down of some of the memorable moments.
  • Photo Shoot -- At the beginning of the month, my sister and I did a photo shoot for Her... Magazine. It is a local magazine for women in our area. They are doing a feature on sisters in the upcoming May issue, and we got to be a part of it. I haven't seen the photos yet, but the issue should be out in a couple of weeks.
  • Spring Break -- Yes, working at a University, I still get a Spring Break. It was NICE to have a week off.
  • Reconnecting -- Over Spring Break, I got to reconnect with a couple of people that I haven't talked to in a while. One of these was my old friend Carmen. We used to be inseparable, but things happened and we stopped talking for a while. We started hanging out again, and it is really nice to have a female friend again.
  • Movement -- I got to feel my nephew move for the first time! I am already so in love with this little guy. Only a few more months til we get to meet him!
  • Exhaustion -- I've been really tired lately, more than normal. Its hard to get out of bed in the mornings, no matter what time I go to bed. At first, I thought it was the time change, but it probably has to do with my thyroid.
I'm so glad that Spring is here! Maybe it will help my motivation. Hoping for a great April!

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