Flower Canvas Process







This was the first time I've free-handed a major design element (the flowers) and this is the biggest canvas (I pretty sure it measures 24in x 24in) I have ever painted on! It was really awesome to just trust my gut and go for it! It really felt like an adventure. The colors aren't showing up that great which is probably because some photos were taken during the day with the lovely sunlight and the others were taken at night with crummy lamp lights. I worked on it bit by bit throughout the past few days and I think it's complete, but I might go back later to see if it needs a little something more. 



Merry Christmas!


This was our adorable Christmas 'card' this year. We forgot to send out cards until yesterday so I took a picture of Max, added words and my mom texted it out to everyone. Problem solved! 

I hope you all have a lovely holiday! 



My 2014 Playlist

I wanted to write down the songs I listened to most throughout 2014. My music taste changes quite a bit every year, but I have always loved songs with meaningful lyrics. I usually make a new playlist for each month, so I just went through my iPod to find a song from each month that I remembered playing a lot. Here are those songs in no particular order.


1. From Eden - Hozier
2. Back to You - Twin Forks
3. Mona Lisa - The All-American Rejects
4. Love and Drugs - The Maine
5. Some Nights - Fun
6. Wagon Wheel - Darius Rucker
7. Everybody Loves Me - One Republic
8. Cruise - Florida Georgia Line
9. Not a Bad Thing - Justin Timberlake
10. Why Georgia - John Mayer
11. Flowers in Your Hair - The Lumineers
12. Dirt - Florida Georgia Line

What were some of your most played songs this year?


Fractals


Winter semester is officially over and grades have been finalized so I'm now on break! Woo! 
These past two days have been spent catching up on some much needed sleep and haphazardly looking for my sanity which I must have misplaced somewhere between logarithms and attempting to learn what a fractal is... I still have no idea what they are, all I kept thinking of was that one part in Frozen's song 'Let It Go', My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around and one thought crystallizes like an icy blast! 

Anyways, I'm celebrating because this semester was the last math class that I will ever have to take. YES! Math and I just don't get along, I'd say the whole 'it's not me, it's you thing' to it, but it totally is Math. I just can't deal with all it's problems, it has to go. 

What I'm listening to:

On another note, a lot of what I have been posting isn't exactly what I had planned for December. When I was neatly writing everything out on my calendar I think I gave way too much credit to only the planning. I actually have to, you know, work on the blog posts beforehand if I want to do more artsy stuff along with my life and book posts. 

Even though I've been blogging for quite a long time I suppose I still have things to learn, especially since I want to grow from only focusing on the topic of books. Despite my content being not exactly what I was expecting, I still want to continue on with my goal of posting every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in December. 



Ornaments

Something I look forward to each Christmas is going to Hallmark with my mom to pick out a new ornament for our tree. Even before I was born my mom would choose a new ornament for that year and she carried on that tradition after she married my dad and they had me. I love how the ornaments on our tree don't match, but that each of them has a story and a memory attached to it. 


My parents and I get along great, but we don't always have the same taste in a lot of things. The Marvel superhero movies are definitely something my mom and I agree on. Usually when my mom is sewing and I'm painting we'll put on a Marvel movie. Iron Man is our favorite! 


My mom made this train ornament over thirty five years ago during the Winter of her first year at her job. It's small enough to fit in your hand, but it's still so detailed! I alway look forward to hanging this little guy up every year! 


This Christmasified cupcake is from last year's trip to visit my great aunt in Michigan. She's one of the best people I know and I love being able to spend time with her and my mom. My aunt, also like my mom, gives all of us (my cousins, aunts, uncles, pretty much everyone) an ornament each year. 

Last year we went with her to pick out ours, which is different than any other year because my aunt loves to surprise all of us. I'm pretty sure her motto is 'the bigger the ornament the better' and I so love her for that, haha! It's easy to look at our tree and know which ones are from her. 
This year I talked her into a smaller (yet still pretty big) cupcake. She said she wished it were real, she wanted a bite! 


This is the oldest ornament on our tree, it's from when my dad was little. It's pretty beat up, but I love the meaning it holds and how it's survived all these years. 


This unique ornament is from the first year my parents were together. 
My dad got it for my mom because he knew, even back then, she got a new ornament for her tree each year. 
These series of ornaments are still made and next December will be their thirty fifth Christmas together so next year I'm planning on buying the 2015 version to hang on the tree beside this one. I know this ornament style has a new design/ornament released each year and I'm pretty certain the very first one was released in 1980, their first Christmas, so that's awesome too. 


This is my ornament for this year! I completely love it! My mom and I chose it because I was really into gardening this summer so we thought it was perfect for this year's ornament! 


I love the traditions my parents made surrounding Christmas, especially our ornaments. Each ornament has a story. It's amazing to be able to look at the tree and be able to find so many wonderful memories of our family's story. 


Mango


Lately I've been thinking a lot about old friends. About those childhood promises made in crumpled up blanket forts and whisphered over entwined fingers. About how, as we grow, those promises that lit our eyes with hope, slowly lose their strength.

Around this time of year people return home, or at least to what was once their home. That's probably why my mind has been circling around the subject of old friends. It's like I know I'm going to run into them and I know I'm going to be cringing the entire time. I know I'm going to think about our end and about how I didn't want it to be the last of us.

There's this song, Inside of You, by favorite band The Maine and I've always loved it, but I don't think I fully connected with it before or fully understand what it meant. Maybe I still don't and I'm just applying it to my own life, but I feel like that's when music becomes so much more. When it can be applied to so many different lives and different situations that even if it wasn't what the writer was exactly going through, it's still somehow valid.


I was seventeen when I first listened to this song. That was almost five years ago.
Holy cow.

Anyways, there's a part in the song that says
"Don't say that you just want to runaway, replay all the things that I tried to say." 
I was listening to the album this weekend and those lyrics, well the entire song really, just hit me. I feel like I needed to listen to this song with new ears so many years ago. I was at a concert loudly singing off key to these same exact words and they're just now, four years later, hitting me.
Maybe I wasn't ready then, but I am now.

I said everything I could have said, but if someone wants to leave, they're going to leave.
Most of my friendships have ended because there was a lot left unsaid, but this is the one instance where everything was laid out on the table and it ended up just being left there to rot.

I said everything but don't leave me. 
I told myself I wasn't going to ask her to stay and I didn't.
I don't regret that.... well, at least most of the time I don't.




Books I Want to Finish Before 2015

This year I've read so many seriously awesome books, but I've also only made it halfway through three, also very awesome, books. Before 2015 arrives I'd like to finish up these three books. 

-Of Neptune (The Syrena Legacy 3) by Anna Banks
In November I marathon read the first two books in The Syrena Legacy and in December I started Of Neptune. I only made it about halfway through before I got burnt out. It's not that the story is bad or anything like that, I think it has more to do with the beginning of my December being super busy with an art show and finals for school. This is the last book in the trilogy so I'd really like to finish it before January comes around.

-Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Children 2) by Ransom Riggs
Hollow City has been sitting on my floating bookshelf that holds the books that I plan to-read-next all year. Seriously, I keep picking up a book before it and going 'for sure, I'll read this Hollow City next' and it's been twelve months and it's still unread. It's so great too! I need to finish it!

-Cress (The Lunar Chronicles 3) by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles is one of my absolute favorite series. Meyer's world building and plot are incredible and each book is better than the last. Right next to Hollow City on my next-to-be-read shelf sits Cress. Another seriously incredible book that I can't wait to finish.


I know I won't be able to start reading again until after my finals are over, but the middle to end of December is always when I get the most reading done so I'm very excited to start reading again! 


My Happy Place


I remember when I was younger I was always trying to create this perfect room. It had a theme, because in my mind everything had to have a theme, a sitting area, a secret fort and a bookshelf full of books. 

As I got older  I stopped holding onto that perfect idea of a room and focused more on making my room mine. In high school I changed the color to a light pink and a year ago I painted one wall with dark pink chalkboard paint. I hung fairy lights and throughout the past few years I collected random things that I loved. 


It's definitely not the fanciest or most organized place out there, but I feel like it reflects myself so well. There's two big bookshelves, photos on the wall, tons of pillows, homemade quilts and lanterns.  It feels so peaceful and inspiring. I truly love it. 



The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


The semester ends next Wednesday and I’m trying not to fall into a total panic. I have a huge paper due on Friday that I’m still uncertain what it’s about because I’ve yet to read the rubric. Not to mention two exams and a whole string of math homework. I know I’m not alone on being completely stressed out by finals, but it’s still so frustrating.

This time of the semester always has me questioning why I’m in college and if it’s the right decision for. I’m still unsure about my major and I don’t agree with how the educational system is run. I’ve always felt that school would be great if there was actually time to learn. It seems that there’s only time to study for tests and take tests. Only to be followed up with dumping out that information so we can cram for next week’s exam.

I’m so sick of it, you know? It’s like our learning and knowledge isn’t valid unless we can chose the correct answer on a test that rarely is even about what we were fed during the week.

It’s just the more I think about it, the more I think why. I thought when you got older you would get the answers to the questions you had when you were younger. If anything I feel like there’s even more questions. Or that the answer is simply ‘because’ which isn’t much of an answer at all.

I know I’m not the only one stressed out with finals, but I guess I just want to know why this is necessary and what am I doing this for? Who am I doing this for?

I guess all of those questions will have to wait because I have other math related questions that need answering. At least I have my cute study buddy helping me out. That's his 'hey, why did you stop scratching my ears?' face.





My December Daily 2014

 I always feel like the month of December flies by way too quickly. This year I wanted to find a way to document the holiday season in a new and creative way. Last year, I saw 'December Daily' journals all over Pinterest and thought it looked like fun, but it wasn't until this year that I decided to participate.


The goal of December Daily is to document each day of December. 
Since I knew I wasn't always going to have time to create a new scrapbook page everyday, I decided to make the entire journal beforehand, during my Thanksgiving break.

I seriously had a blast! I loved creating a sort of 'junk journal' to remember December and just the process of creating this was so fun for me! I've tried so many different ways to scrapbook, but could never get back into it so I think I just found a new way to creatively document life in a sort-of-scrapbookish way.


Everything except the washi tape (from Dollar Tree!) is from Michael's. I went when Christmas stuff was forty percent off so I got a pretty good deal on all of my journaling goodies.

The scrapbook paper was also found at Michaels. It's a paper pad/stack by Recollections for the Christmas season called Falalala. I couldn't find a link to it on Michael's website (or even on Amazon) but I found it at the store with all of the other Christmas scrapbooking paper stacks.


I'll post another video/ post when my journal is all filled up with my December adventures! 




A Quick Visit


It was drop off day for the the art show I'll be in this weekend.
It's always so surreal visiting here, it's like a past memory that's come back to life. 

I remember coming here with my mom when I was little and listening to the stories of her time spent creating within these walls. So much has changed, but it still has those little quirks that remind me of the beautiful place that it is. 

Those hands (I believe they are for displaying gloves) are one of my favorite pieces. 
Every time I visit I can't help but fawn all over them!


Another one of my favorite bits about this place: the quiet. 
It leaves so much open space for creativity and inspiration.
My mom and I are planning on taking a class here in the Spring and I truly cannot wait!


If you'd like to see more of this lovely location you can check out last year's post here


Also, a huge thank you to my mom for helping me bring in all of my paintings! 


21 Things About Me

I first started blogging when I was only sixteen years old and it’s crazy to think that almost five years have already gone by! I’ve changed quite a bit since 2010 so I thought I’d make a list with twenty-one fairly random things about myself as a sort of re-introduction. 

Here we go!

1. Hello, my name is Katie Marie.
2. I’m twenty-one years old.
3. I’m from a small farming town in the Midwest.
4. I’m a total introvert.
5. I have the absolute sweetest dog named Max.


6. I love reading! Books are such an amazing escape and I adore getting swept up into new stories.

7. One of my hobbies is painting. I love creating mixed media pieces on canvas!

8. I want to learn more about photography. I really enjoy taking photos, but I definitely want to understand what my camera can fully do. I also want to learn about composition and editing too!

9. Whether it’s the good or the not-so-good times, I love being able to document and look back at my life through photos, journaling and my artwork.

10. I love organizing! From color coordinating my books to organizing my weekly tasks, I love knowing that at least some parts of my life are in order.


11. I keep a journal. I'm not always super consistent with writing in it, but I'd say a good chunk of my thoughts get written down on paper.

12. Even though my hand writing is pretty hard to read, I love the feeling of pen on paper.

13. I love quotes! I keep track of my favorite ones in my journal or on my ginormous pink chalkboard wall.

14. I have a horrible memory for the little things, like where I just put something and other random everyday things.

15. I currently have one tattoo and definitely plan on getting more.

16. I love driving! Just the feeling of having the windows down and music up is really therapeutic to me.


17. Feeling paint on my fingers or even building bookshelves with tools are some things I never tire of. I just love creating with my hands.

18. My current television obsessions are The Office, Once Upon A Time, Ghost Adventures, The Mindy Project, Scrubs, Reign, and Supernatural.

19. My mom and I are totally in love with the Marvel superhero movies. Iron Man/Tony Stark is our favorite!

20. I have a pretty diverse taste in music, but lately you probably wouldn't notice because I've been listening to Christmas music non-stop!

21. I’m currently attending college to become a children’s librarian. I really can't wait to share my passion of literature with others and I hope to incorporate art with children's library programs too!


Welcome to Katie Marie Blogs! (Previously Call Me Crazy)

Hello and welcome to Katie Marie Blogs, make yourself at home!
The blog may look pretty different with the new design and name, but all the old posts and homey goodnesses are still here, just spruced up a bit!

I’ve been blogging for almost five years at Call Me Crazy. I started CMC when I was around sixteen years old and have definitely changed a lot since then. Previously on this blog I would mainly talk about books and it would only have the occasional life post, but I really want to begin blogging more about the other things that I love too.

I’ve been thinking about a name change for two years now. I knew I wanted a new name and a place to grow, but unfortunately I didn’t feel that with my old blog’s title.
Ahh, that name! ‘Call Me Crazy’ is something I randomly picked one day thinking it was clever. The twenty-one year old me and sixteen year old me have very differing opinions of what’s clever!

On Katie Marie Blogs I’ll be talking about my life, but there will also be lots of posts that include DIYs, easy recipes (I’m just learning how to cook, so trust me, they’re easy peasy) music, movies and of course books!

I have all of the month of December and the beginning of January planned out.
I’ll be posting on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The amount of times I post a week might change later on, (maybe I’ll only do every other Saturday) but I really want to post three days a week in December. I think if I stick to the schedule I made I can definitely accomplish this!

Throughout the month I’ll have some fun seasonal DIY’s, a three ingredient taco dip, a movie night with homemade snacks watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and a book talk about the young adult mermaid trilogy The Syrena Legacy by Anna Banks. There will definitely be plenty of other awesome posts in December too, these are just a few of my favorites.

Some random tidbits about the new blog design:
I’m still getting all settled in so if something seems a bit wonky I’ll try and fix it right away.
I’ve updated my ‘Contact’ and ‘Policies’ pages. There have been some changes in my contact info so you can totally check that out if you’d like.

I’ll be adding an easy way to navigate through the posts’ tags to the sidebar. That way it’ll hopefully be simple to find what topic of post your looking for super quickly.

If you’d like an easy way to share a post, at the bottom of each blogpost is a little paper airplane. You can hover your mouse over it and options will come up with all the different ways you can share a post.


I’m seriously beyond excited to start blogging again. I'm so grateful for every reader and really appreciate you deciding to stick with me through all this time. It means so incredibly much to me. Some of my best memories from the past few years are of the awesome opportunities and people I have met through this incredible blogging community. I just can’t wait to finally begin again!

I Tend to Overcomplicate Things

I've been completely overthinking this entire name change thing, seriously.

I've checked out library books and endlessly googled ways to 'seamlessly' change my blog's name. Unfortunately all these preparations made me totally overlook the simple way of doing things and complicate things for not only me, but my readers as well.
I'm so sorry for all of the past updates that didn't really make sense (probably very much like this one). All of the posts about 'name updates', 'new blogs' and all the other related topic posts ends with this one.

I'm just going to say it simply (since I've been complicating things lately) so we can all finally move on from this name change thing. Yay!

Five things to know about the blog changes that happened today:
1. Call Me Crazy Reviews is now Katie Marie Blogs.
2. This is the exact same blog as before, it just has a different name and web address.
3. The new web address is www.katiemarieblogs.com
4. www.callmecrazyreviews.com is no longer available and will not direct you to Katie Marie Blogs.

To stay updated with Katie Marie Blogs you can...
1. Follow Katie Marie Blogs on bloglovin' by clicking here.
2. Subscribe by email (near the top in the right sidebar under 'Subscribe by email')
3. Subscribe to the RSS feed by clicking here.
(If you were already a subscriber to Call Me Crazy, I have redirected the feed so you should continue to get post updates.)
4. If were a Google Friend Connect reader of Call Me Crazy, you don't have to re-follow. I'll also leave the GFC widget up as an option to follow.

*Note: If you're seeing this post in your reader, inbox or whichever way you follow this blog with, you don't have to worry about switching or re-subscribing to anything.


Thank you all so much for sticking with me throughout this name change. I'm so sorry that I completely overcomplicated it, but now it's finished now. *sigh of relief* Woo!

I have an introduction post scheduled for tonight, so you'll be hearing from me again soon.

I hope you all are having a lovely Monday!

Thank you all so much!


My New Blog: Katie Marie Blogs (Coming December 1st)

Hey Everyone!

I originally had all this planned out so it would go smoothly (I was planning on the 'relaunch' on November 1st), but things definitely got in the way. Things might not have gone the way I wanted them to, but I'm seriously so excited to start a new blogging chapter!

Instead of a name change I will be starting a new blog. 

If you would like to follow my new blog you can check that out by clicking here: Katie Marie Blogs

Katie Marie Blogs

So here's a few questions I have been getting about the name change:

-What do I need to do to follow your new blog?  
You can go check out Katie Marie Blogs and on the right sidebar there's a bunch of different options to follow: Bloglovin', RSS feed, subscribe by email and you can also just add it to your preferred blog reader or bookmark the site!

-Will I still be blogging about books?
Absolutely yes! Books are a huge part of my life and I can't imagine my blog being without them. There won't be as many reviews, but there will definitely be plenty of book loving to go around!

-Is it a totally new blog or just a new name?
It's a new blog.
 It will have all the old posts from Call Me Crazy on it (I didn't want to have to move blogs, but there was some issues with my old domain stuff so I'm just going with it.)

-What kind of things are you blogging about?
Life, books, art, cooking, diy, movies, music, creating and pretty much everything!

-Will your old URL (web address with the .com at the end) get me to Katie Marie Blogs?
Now this is where the issue was that took me so long to figure out.
callmecrazyreviews.com WILL direct you to katiemarieblogs.com
www.callmecrazyreviews.com will NOT direct you to katiemarieblogs.com

I've called my domain provider multiple times trying to understand why this is and to attempt to fix it, but they don't know why either.
However, I did import Call Me Crazy's blog posts to Katie Marie Blogs so all the posts (like past reviews, features/ everything!) from this blog are on the new Katie Marie Blogs.

-Any other changes?
Yes! I'm changing my social media names:

Twitter: @katiemarieblogs
Goodreads: KatieMarieAlice (if you are already friends with me on goodreads, it'll just show a different name, you don't have to refriend or refollow my reviews!)
Instagram: KatieMarieBlogs (like goodreads if you already follow me, it's just a different name.)
Facebook: Katie Marie Blogs (if you already have 'liked' the page, it will just show a different name.)


Katie Marie Blogs is up and ready for it's launch on December 1st (this Monday!) You can click here to go check out the blog and, if you'd like, follow with bloglovin', RSS feed or you can even subscribe by email!

Thank you all so much for staying with me for the past (almost) five years!

I'm so ready to start blogging again and I'm looking forward to everything that this new blog will bring!

Thank you all so much!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Katie

Name Change News

Hey Guys,

I've been working a lot on trying to get Katie Marie Blogs up and running, but have unfortunately been having to deal with quite a few issues. I honestly thought it was going to be somewhat easier, since I had a check list and did my research, but there's other issues happening with my domain. Something weird with the whole 'www' and whatever. I've called tech support, but that didn't really do much good so I'm heading to the library and getting one of those how to books to help me out.

I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty frustrated with this whole domain thing and am super busy with school and getting ready for an art show so I don't know when this will happen. I've been working on blog posts and am so ready to share them with you all.

As of now 'katiemarieblogs.com' redirects to www.callmecrazyreviews.com, but I need it to be reversed.

Anyways, name change is still happening, just at a much more slower rate than I expected.

Sorry about all this,

Katie

Name Change Update (Katie Marie Blogs)

Hey Everyone!

I just wanted to leave a quick update about the blog name change.

In the last post I said I would have Katie Marie Blogs up and running within a few days, but I should have taken into account the multiple family visits that happened during the past two weeks.

I just want the name change to go smoothly and for everything to work out great! For that to happen it needs my full, undivided attention for longer than just the few spare minutes I can give up now.

My goal is to have it up and running no later than next week.
I'll do post to announce when the name change is officially complete!

Thank you!

Katie

Katie Marie Blogs (Name Change Coming Soon!)

Hey Guys,

I know it’s been so long since I’ve posted, but I’ve missed blogging dearly. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts from forever ago (okay, from like July) I’m changing the name of my blog.

In August I finally decided on a name and last month I bought a new design for the occasion!

I can’t believe it’s October and I still haven’t posted about this.
I think I’m just so nervous. I mean this is a big change, but the case is that I started this blog when I was 16, I’m 21 now. I want to expand my horizons and discuss things other than only books here.
Of course, there will be plenty of love for books still on this blog because they are an absolutely huge part of my life.
It’ll just be more, so much more.

Everything is all ready to go, I just have to forward this domain to the new one, but I’m still nervous. I mean I know this blog has never strictly been only books, but books were definitely the main focus. I suppose I’m just worried about losing you all, but I truly hope you decide to stick with me. I feel like I can accomplish so much more when I’m being honest with myself and I just don’t think Call Me Crazy (both the name and content) is doing that for me anymore. I’m not deleting any old posts, it’ll all still be here. It’ll just be more.

I feel like I should have some grand reveal of the new name, but I feel like being that over-the-top in this situation will just make me nervous and put it off for even longer.


So the new name is: Katie Marie Blogs.

I feel like that covers all the bases of topics I want to cover: books, art, writing, daily life, movies, music and so much more.

I also think it’ll be a good carry over for my artsy-business site (I don’t want to say the full name for the other site yet because I haven’t bought the domain yet!)

After months of trying to find the right words to say to announce this, I end up typing it spontaneously right before leaving for a doctor’s appointment. I’m posting it before I leave too, so I don’t chicken out and over think things.

I hope you all will carry on with me to this new blogging experience.
Once I set everything up (in the next day or so) the current url will (hopefully) seamlessly lead you here, it’ll just have a different name. (A.K.A. don’t worry about anything, because the blog will still have the same “place” on the internet, just a new name. I don’t think that’s very clear, but trust me, it’ll be good. It’s just stuff I have to do on my end, the old web address will still direct you here (and to Katie Marie Blogs)


Once everything is set up, I’ll have a post titled “New Blog Title: Katie Marie Blogs” and give you a sort of heads up that Call Me Crazy is now called Katie Marie Blogs.

I’m so excited to move forward.
Thank you all so much for your amazing support throughout the years.

Happy October!



Top Ten Tuesday: Deserted Island


This week's list is: 
Top Ten Characters I Would Want with Me on A Deserted Island.


1. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass 
One word: Badass. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and can hold her own in a fight. I also love her sense of humor and how she doesn’t let her past hold her back.

2. Puck from The Iron Fey 
He’s funny, loyal and knows how to fight, also being a fairy might come in handy too. Honestly, I’d just want him around to cheer me up and do that smile/smirk thing he does so well.

3. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
She’s super smart and knows everything there is to know about magic. If she wouldn’t be able to apparate us off the island, she could still access other magic that might be useful for our survival. Also, she’d be an awesome person to hang out with!

4. Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles
Cinder has the best sense of humor: sarcastic, a little dry and super witty. She also happens to be a cyborg which means she has access to limitless information thanks to her awesome cyborg set-up. Maybe she’d be able to discover a way to escape while adding a bit of her killer humor to the situation too!

5. Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars
Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be trapped on an island with Augustus?! He has awesome stories, the absolute best sense of humor and is just an all around amazing character.

6. Emma Bloom from Miss Peregrine’s 
Not only could she probably help with starting a fire, but she’s such a strong character that can stand her own. She protects the people that she loves and stops at nothing to save them.

7. Nox from Dorothy Must Die
Nox has been trained by The Order of the Wicked to fight since he was a just young boy. Not only does he have some awesome battle skills, but he has magic on his side too!

8. Luc from Personal Demons
He might not exactly be human, but I’d totally want him to be in my little deserted island group. He’s hilarious, a good fighter and very caring. Luc would be an awesome addition!

9. Amy from Across the Universe
No matter what situation Amy may be in she never loses hope. She honors her past, but still looks into the future and hopes for the best. I love that her optimism isn’t delusional and I feel like if I was trapped on a deserted island this hopeful trait would come in handy.

10. Captain Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles
He’s overly confident, easy on the eyes, has a mysterious past (I haven’t finished book three, Cress, so for me it’s still in the mysterious phase) and has some hilarious lines. Who knows, maybe his spaceship flying talents will come in handy in case we find an abandoned ship.


Which characters would you want on a deserted island with you? 




Review: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Bought from my independent bookstore.
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: April 1, 2014
Series: Dorothy Must Die #1
Amazon - Goodreads

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission.

Last weekend I picked up this book on a whim at my local independent bookstore. I was looking for a book that was original and something different than what I’ve been reading lately. After reading the summary I thought Dorothy Must Die would definitely meet my qualifications. Not only did the title stand out, but the awesome cover design drew me in too.

In Dorothy Must Die Oz is in ruins because Dorothy returned and took over the crown. She wants all the magic for herself and will stop at nothing to have total control, even if that means destroying Oz in the process. Then a tornado drops Amy in Oz and she’s recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to kill Dorothy and bring Oz back to its glory days.

It took a few chapters to get into the story, but once things started picking up I really enjoyed it. I love how Danielle Paige used the well-known story of The Wizard of Oz as a jumping point for her book. Paige’s story was original; only some of the same characters, the land of Oz and the previous story for reference was used. I loved how I was able to experience Oz in an entirely different way.

I thought the world building was amazing, Paige’s description skills are incredible.
There were parts of the book were I had a hard time liking the main character, Amy, but as the book went on she really grew as a person which helped me grow to like her by the end.

I loved how the story has you question what's really good and what's wicked. I liked how it really opened up the definition of each word and makes you think about how far you'd go to do the right thing in the end.

When I first started reading Dorothy Must Die I thought it was a standalone novel, but it’s actually a trilogy! The ending answered a few of the questions, but left enough open to continue on into the next book. I'll definitely be eagerly awaiting the release of book two!

One thing I found definitely strange was what was on the back cover of the book. What was written was what drew me to buy the book and want to read it, but it pretty much gave up the big discovery at the end of the story. It really didn’t even feel like a ‘discovery’ since it was already clearly written on the back of the book. I found myself going wait, I thought we already knew that?! I mean it doesn’t give away everything, but definitely a big chunk!

Quote:
"You don't have to know every turn of the road in order to walk down it."


Even though there were parts of the book that felt a little too drawn out, I found the majority of the story to be relatively fast paced. I loved going on this journey through Oz with Amy and seeing the original story’s characters and setting in a completely different way. I honestly wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did! I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a unique and awesome retelling-like-book, then you should totally pick up Dorothy Must Die!







Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Television Shows


I usually don't participate in this meme, but this week's topic was too good to pass up: Top Ten Favorite Television Shows. I actually think I might start joining in on all the Top Ten Tuesday fun more often, I'm loving the upcoming prompts!

Below I listed my top ten, but it's in no particular order. Some of the shows I'm not completely caught up on or I've only recently started watching and have become an immediate favorite.

Source
The Office
This will always be one of my favorite shows. It's one of my go to's when I'm painting or cleaning or just needing to cheer up. I love the humor and incredible story lines. Michael Scott will always be one of the best characters on television and you have to love Jim, Pam, and Dwight! (Okay, and everyone else on the show!)

Source
Once Upon A Time
I love this show! The incorporation of well known fairy tales into our present world is just so awesome. I love the character development and the plot is killer! I usually have a set of favorite characters, but I honestly want to know what happens to all the characters, supporting and main. I can't wait for this to return in the Fall!

Scrubs
Scrubs was one of the shows I marathoned on Netflix and fell in love with it immediately. I loved how much the characters grew throughout the show, the sense of humor and J.D. is just amazing.

Project Runway
My mom and I don't really like the same television shows, but we both love this one! I love the crazy challenges and watching designers make the clothes!

Source
True Blood
I only started watching this series this month and I'm only on the last episode left of season two, but I really love it. I thought I wouldn't enjoy it because I'm a little over with the whole vampire thing, but the world is so authentic and believable. The characters are awesome and I'm so curious to see where the story goes next.

Source
The Mindy Project
I love Mindy Kaling! From her work on The Office to her book, I love her work! She's so witty and the show definitely reflects her humor. It's a light, funny show and is just perfect!

Source
Ghost Adventures
This is one of my guilty pleasure shows. It's kind of a reality show; three guys go to haunted places and try to get evidence of the paranormal. I don't know why, but I find the constant talking and the nonstop "bro, did you hear that?!" comforting. I like some of the history that's thrown in, but the newer episodes are starting to get a little over the top so I just stick to the older seasons.

Source
Teen Wolf
The plot and originality of the creatures is so great. I love that the show goes to different myths/ story tellings from different cultures and just stories I hadn't heard. I liked the movie when I was younger, but I love the television show a lot more. I loved how there was a psychological-mystery-thriller aspect to it last season and I'm hoping that will carry over into this season too!

Source
Supernatural
I'm half a season behind because I got upset with where the characters were going and don't understand why some events were deemed necessary, but I still love the Winchester brothers. I love the supernatural aspect mixed with comedy and how there's always a new monster for the Winchester's to chase after.

Source
The Simpsons
I love the humor. It's just a classic that I still can't get enough of!


Honorable Mentions:
-Orange is the New Black
-Master Chef
-RuPaul’s Drag Race
-Reign
-Face Off





Review: Mrs. Lilien's Dessert Cocktail Swatch Book by Kelly Lilien

Received copy for review.
Publisher: Potter Style
Published: May 13, 2014
Amazon - Goodreads



From the author of Mrs. Lilien's Cocktail Swatchbook, Kelley Lilien presents 50 delicious recipes from the cocktail world's newest trend--dessert-inspired drinks--infused with her signature mix of well-mannered style and down-and-dirty indulgences.

Beautifully designed in an easy-to-use swatchbook, Mrs. Lilien's cocktails are pictorially represented in glossy four-color photographs. Simply fan the book out to your desired recipe, glance at the artfully arranged photos, and instantly know which ingredients and festive trimmings the cocktail requires. Organized by hot and cold after-dinner cocktails, and each recipe includes a bold bonus ingredient suggestion (rock candy swizzle sticks, anyone?), sure to surprise and delight.

Recipes Include:

COLD

Gin and Tonic Sorbet, Frozen Watermelon Poptail, Rum and Coke Float, So Co Snow Cone, Frozen Chocolate Whiskey Malt, Riesling Rhubarb Slushy, Lemon Sorbet Float, Champagne Jell-O Shots

HOT

Campfire Cordial, Hot Chai Bourbon Tea, Hot Buttered Rum, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Toasted Coco-Rum Steamers, Vanilla Bourbon Bon Bon, Ginger Tart Toddy, Spiked Peppermint Patty

I was immediately drawn in by the bright colors and cheerful design of Mrs. Lilien's Dessert Cocktail Swatch Book: Delicious Drinks With A Twist. I absolutely love how this recipe book is set up: like that title says, it's a swatch book. The pages are joined together by a sturdy peg in the corner and are able to fan out and then safely go back inside the cover. It looks just like a regular book because the pages fold inside the cover so you don't have to worry about them slipping out. It's great!

Mrs. Lilien's Dessert Cocktail Swatch Book has 100 recipes: 50 hot and 50 cold. Depending on the pattern on the beautifully color cards is how you can tell if a recipe is hot or cold. It's not only drinks that you can make, but there's also recipes for ice cream, popsicles and things like jello shots too! There's a cute legend in the beginning of the book that shows you what each symbol means so you'll be able to tell what type of dessert cocktail you'll be making.
All the recipes look delicious and I love that some are more seasonal; like the Mrs. Maple and Caramel Apple Cider would be perfect for Fall!

Each recipes shows pleasing photos of everything you need. The directions are clearly written at the bottom and there's even a little tip on the back of each card to make your creation extra special. The only thing I didn't like was that there was no pictures of the finished product. I thought, for me, instead of showing what special type of spoon or glass you could use that it would be more beneficial for me to see what the drink would look like in the end. 

I found that the ingredients are easy to find, I found everything I needed at Target! I'm not a huge fan of how any alcohol tastes (I just turned 21 in March so maybe I'll grow to like it) but I definitely think most of these recipes could be made without adding any alcohol and taste just as good!

I decided to try out two recipes from the book: one hot and one cold. The hot one is called Mrs. Campfire Cordial.


It's essentially hot chocolate, bourbon, graham crackers and marshmallows. The recipe called for a torch (for the marshmallows) but I didn't have one so I just plopped them on top. I had a little trouble getting the graham crackers to stay on the cups' rim since it was just hot chocolate holding them on. The recipe said it would make two, but I found it making more like one and a half. 


Honestly, I didn't like it and didn't finish it. However, it was the first time I've ever had bourbon and holy cow is that strong! 
I could see myself making this without the bourbon and using something else to stick the graham crackers on the rim with for next time and totally loving it. 

The second recipe I tried was called Mrs. Rum and Coke Float. 
I really liked this one! It was cool and refreshing with just a little punch because of the rum. I made one with rum and one without and they both tasted awesome! It was super easy to make and turned out looking pretty cute! The book suggested putting it in a soda fountain glass but I couldn't find one at the store so I just used a wine glass we already had at home. Whatever works, right? 


Mrs. Lilien's Desert Cocktail Swatch Book is super durable and is something that I see myself keeping always. It has a wide variety of fun and delicious drink options that will be delicious for years to come. It's perfect for making any number of drinks depending on the occasion. If you like cocktails I'd definitely recommend it. If you're not a huge fan of alcohol you can still make some of the drinks without it, but I wouldn't recommend it to the non-drinker.






*I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for a honest review. All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.