Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Chocolate Recipe for Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day! I love, love any day of the year but it's always nice to see more love in the air and to read and watch some romances. I decided to make an oreo recipe yesterday to share with the family. Also, below I will be announcing the winner of the mini challenge. Everyone did wonderfully writing their poems. 

Oreo Truffles


I followed the recipe on the video above but my oreo truffles were a little bit different than what the video's final result looked like. First, I added 8 oz of cream cheese instead of four and I didn't have candy melts so the one's that were dipped into white chocolate weren't very pretty. However, these taste delicious. They were super decadent and heavy but so good! 

The oreos before they were frozen

The final result!




Everyone did so wonderfully with the poems they created! it was really close actually but the winner is....


GenGen's Book Blog!

Congrats Genesis! Her poem was about Miles from Ugly Love:

"Hurt and broken
of a past you can’t let go.
A love you lost,
you don’t want to hurt anymore.
A light shines through
and the armor starts to fall.
Feelings arise,
for a girl you cannot love.
Ugly is the pain,
beautiful is the love.
You move on from your past,
you finally rise above.
Happiness you have found,
on the girl you couldn’t love.
But now you realize,
it was her all along.
It’s time to let yourself go
from the Ugly Love." -Genesis

Thanks for participating Brittany, Alysia, Jade, and Genesis. I loved reading all your poems!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2015

#FitReaders: February 13th 2015 Check-In


#FitReaders: Another week I forgot to write my fitness and water intake down. I do remember some things I did. I didn't run as much as I wanted and didn't get much exercise but I did have this one perfect day so I'm grateful for that. I plan on just doing an overview of the week so I don't have to write everyday exactly what I thought because I do forget to do that part mostly.

Walk/Run
2.53 miles in 39 min. 28 sec. 
(Shins felt fine after this so I'm going to see next week if I feel the same. Maybe the first time I felt sore in my shins it was a fluke or I might just run on the grass.)

Walking
83 min. of walking

Workout Videos
3 Minute Thighs - 3 min.

Water Intake
Around 110 oz of water
Goal for each week: 420

How did you do this week?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mini Challenge: Romeo Oh Romeo! Love for Books Readathon


I'm happy to say that I'm hosting a mini challenge for the 2nd annual Love for Books Readathon hosted by Jessi over at Novel Heartbeat! This mini challenge let's you tap into your creative side.

The Challenge:

Create a poem about a book character you either love or love to hate.

There are many different types of poems you can work with or you can simply write a poem that rhymes throughout. Be as creative as you can be and have fun!

The Prize:

The winner of this mini challenge will be announced on Valentine's Day! The winner will be able to pick a book from the list below. They all of course have romance in them.








After you have submitted your link let me know in the comments which book you would like to receive and why. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Blog Tour: Henge by Realm Lovejoy

Le Fay #1. Self-Published (Nov. 2014) Xpresso Book Tours
Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.
Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.
Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.
But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell.


Folklore has always been fascinating to me. Diving into the world of Camelot, I quickly recognized the names of knights and wizards. Reading about King Arthur when he was a prince, Merlin as a mysterious yet caring figure, and the first real introduction of Morgan Le Fay I've had made the inner nerd in me glow with delight. Following around Morgan and seeing her pain and passion completely had me transfixed. Morgan's relationship with Merlin was always very intriguing and complex. This world that I've read about came to life in a more modern world but where magic users are rarely seen as good. They are seen as dangerous and Morgan wants to change all this by becoming the Maven.

Morgan is a fire user and as the story progressed I really got to see how she used her pain to become stronger while she was competing to become Maven. The Maven basically runs the show behind the scenes. The Maven for Prince Arthur is being chosen. Their goal is to lead Arthur to Excalibur. Morgan has had a vision of becoming the Maven so she is determined throughout the competition even when it is clear that she is being targeted by an unknown source. I loved her personality and how her emotions got away from her only because I could see her as a character with depth more clearly. She lost her mother when she was a child. Her mother was executed for killing even if it was self-defense. The Maven of this day, Mordred, killed her. Morgan believes he has made it difficult on magic users to use their magic freely. Many, like her mother, have been killed even for helping others. There is a fog of mystery concerning Mordred and the whole competition. There is something sinister going on but you aren't sure what.

There's so many secrets and questions in this story. Merlin is a bit of a mystery. His real emotions are masked often but it seems that he cares for Morgan. I'd like to get to know his character more and what secrets he hides. I was always filled with questions about Morgan and her parents as well as if she herself is going to be contradictory to what she believes in the future. I don't know really much about her but she can be volatile yet you can tell she is a good person. I just don't know where the series will take her and that excites me. I really want to know what happens in this reinvented world and with Morgan. Morgan is such a wonderful character because you can feel her emotions through the pages. Wherever this series takes me I plan on enjoying the ride.

Thanks to the author and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me read and review Henge in exchange for an honest review!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2nd Annual Love for Books Readathon


I can't help myself. I love readathon's. This one is hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat. I'm really excited to try to read some romances in honor of Valentine's day. Also I'm collaborating with Jessi and hosting a mini challenge and giveaway. I'll be posting updates here throughout the week. 

Goals:

Read at least one romance
Read at least 3 books
Write 3 reviews
Have fun!

Books To Read:



Progress:

Monday, February 9th, 2015
Currently Reading: .....
Thoughts: Couldn't read today. I was busy all day with school work.

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
Currently Reading: Henge by Realm Lovejoy
Books Read: Henge by Realm Lovejoy
Pages Read: 260
Thoughts: I'm glad I was able to read a whole book today. Henge was awesome. I want to read up on Morgan Le Fay now.

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Currently Reading: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Books Read:
Pages Read: 244
Thoughts: I don't think I like the characters which is a problem. The romance and characters don't make me jump up and down.

Friday, February 6, 2015

21 Things About Me


After reading Chasing Faerytales's post - Confessions of a 16 year Old - I was reminded how fun Paper Fury's 21 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me was as well. Both of these girls, Mishma and Cait, inspired this post that'll let you get to know me a little better. 

If you can't tell it took me a lot of trials of error to edit that Rapunzel image above with the help of this video. I've always wanted to make my own Rapunzel so that was fun and if you happen to want to do the same with any other Disney character than slow down the video on the settings tab in order to understand what is going on.


1) I'm a homebody


You will find more than likely that I'm in my house relaxing with a good book, on the internet, or huffing and puffing as I do my workout videos. I really don't care to go outside that much. 




2) I Volunteer at the Library

I'm more of a library goer than a book buyer so volunteering at the library is like a dream come true when it comes to discovering new books. I'll usually end up checking out more books than I planned... whoops.


3) I'm a sucker for a romance

In any book, movie, video game - I will look for a romance. I blame my mother. I used to watch all the sappy romance movies with her growing up and I can't get enough of them. This is probably also why I am a hopeless romantic.


4) I can read my mother's mind

I'm the youngest out of three and the only girl. So I was always with my mom. Throughout the years we have both noticed that we think the same things or notice the same things. I feel like I know my mother more than anyone else.

5) I give my honest opinion

I took that Divergent quiz and I was put into Candor for a reason. I am very honest with the people I know and with myself. If you ask I'll most likely be straight up with you if I actually know you and talk with you regularly.


6) I'm very shy when I first meet people

It takes me a while to warm up to people and get used to new situations. You might think I'm being standoffish but really I'm having an eternal war with myself inside my head. 


7) I'm a daydreamer

I'm usually lost in my head daydreaming about one thing or another. It's a little bit of a problem when I'm in class or walking around making who knows what face.


8) I like watching kids shows

I'll watch anything but I love watching kids shows. The shows are way out of my age range but I can't help enjoying them when nothing good is on which is usually often.

9) I'm afraid to fly on airplanes

I don't care about the statistics! That high for hours is like the scariest roller coaster that if it stops working will fall to the ground and there goes your life.

10) I can't drive

21 years old and I still don't have my driver's license. It's the bane of my existence! I really don't enjoy driving but I've gotten used to it. I still need more practice and can never park on the first try.


11) I ramble

I am the worst storyteller on the face of this Earth! If an event happens I can not retell it. You won't understand what I'm saying because I ramble on out of sequence and it turns into a train wreck.


12) Artists - I'm in awe of you

I absolute love art. I can hardly draw myself but I love finding new artists and being awed by their work.

13) Public speaking is my nightmare

Public speaking for me hardly ever goes smoothly. My words jumble around me, I pick up my pace too much, and I'll get as red as a tomato. It's really bad especially since I plan on becoming a teacher. Although, coincidentally it's easier to speak with little kids than adults so it's not too much of a problem.


14) The beach is my favorite place

No, not a library or bookstore. The beach is my favorite place. I love the sun on my skin and relaxing in the water as long as their isn't too much seaweed. My dream home would be living by the beach.

15) I hang out with my family more than my friends

I unfortunately hardly spend time with my friends but I do enjoy spending time with my family. I'm usually at a party, get together, baby shower, or wedding with my family members. They are all very fun to be around.

16) I'm Cuban American but don't speak any Spanish

I never really cared that I didn't speak Spanish before. Later on I became a little upset because others didn't even think I was Hispanic because I never spoke Spanish. It was really frustrating. Now I think it would benefit me to learn Spanish but I still don't know if I have the desire.

17) I'm so cheap!

I HATE spending money. Sure, I'll buy books once in a while but I'm the type of person that'll regret what they buy if it goes over a certain amount. I don't like going out and sharing the payment of a meal either. I just want to pay for my own food!


18) I don't drink alcohol

I don't know how people can drink alcohol. It all tastes pretty much equally horrible. It's the same thing with coffee. I don't want to acquire a taste for something. 


19) I have bad luck with cats

My first cat left, my second cat died, and my third cat loves my brother more than me. My first two cats actually liked me but one wasn't neutered and the other one was always wild and must have gotten disoriented during a storm. I love all my cats but I clearly can't handle them on my own.


20) My music tastes aren't really diverse

I basically listen to pop and rock and usually popular rock music as well as classic rock. I do sometimes find music from my brothers that I enjoy but I mainly listen to popular music. My brother's are annoyed by this.

 21) Blogging makes me happy

I love every one of you who come here and reads my little blog. It really makes my day with each comment I get especially since I feel like I've gotten to know your personalities by your posts and reviews. You are all awesome!


Tell me something about yourself that I might not know already.

#FitReaders: February 6th 2015 Check-In


#FitReaders: I had a good week. I rested more than I would like and I need to either get better shoes or support so my shins stop hurting. Still I reached the 2 mile mark so I'm pretty proud of myself.

Fri/Jan. 30th:
Rest
32 oz of water
Thoughts: Big day school wise. I want to be able to do cardio next Friday. I'm thinking of biking if I can or just doing some extra walking with my running. 

Sat/Jan. 31st:
1.020 mi. walk - 30 min. 19 sec. 
96 oz of water
Thoughts: I'm getting into my new routine starting today. Saturdays I'll be resting by walking either or on the treadmill or with my dogs. I read and walked at the same time which was a new experience for me. I was reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer which feels like the longest book ever right now.

Sun/Feb. 1st:
1.7 mi. walk/run - 24 min. 4 sec. (Map my Run)
25 min. walk
Functional Upper Body Strength - 37 min.
56 oz of water
Thoughts: I worked with 10 pound weights! And I ran/walked outside! It was a day of firsts and changes. Running outside is a lot harder. I felt like I was walking more than usual but I hit where I needed to be so I guess not. Completely different experience. I feel like time goes by faster but it's harder work. I want to run/walk on my selected days outside now. Hopefully I can because the treadmill and running outside are completely different experiences and I prefer being outside.

Mon/Feb. 2nd:
1.83 mi. 25 min. (Map my Run)
Squat for a Better Booty - 10 min.
10 min. Butt Lift Challenge - 10 min.
50 oz of water
Thoughts: Feeling sore! My thighs are especially sore after all the lower body workouts and the running. I made sure to get some stretching in. I'm making good time. I think I'll go for 2 miles tomorrow. 

Tues/Feb. 3rd:
Rest
82 oz of water
Thoughts: Really sore today. I'll have to pick this up tomorrow.

Wed/Feb. 4th:
Lift Like You Mean It! - 30 min.
48 oz of water
Thoughts: This was pretty hard. I used 10 pound and 5 pound weights.

Thurs/Feb. 5th
Rest
No water
Thoughts: I spent the day at school and spent the rest of the night freaking out because I left some library items in my last class. Luckily, no one stole them and I can pick them up on Monday. I'm so inconsistent with my water intake.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Blog Tour: How (Not) to Fall in Love by Lisa Brown Roberts

Standalone. Entangled Teen (Feb. 2015) YA Bound Tours
A girl who’s lost everything meets a guy who can fix anything. Just one problem: Falling in love isn’t an option. Seventeen-year-old Darcy Covington never had to worry about money or where her next shopping spree was coming from. Even her dog ate gourmet. Then one day, Darcy’s car is repossessed from the parking lot of her elite private school. As her father’s business hit the skids, Dad didn’t just skip town, he bailed on his family. Fortunately, Darcy’s uncle owns a thrift shop where she can hide out from the world. There’s also Lucas, the wickedly hot fix-it guy she can’t stop crushing on, even if she’s not sure they’ll ever get out of the friend zone. But it’s here among the colorful characters of her uncle’s world that Darcy begins to see something more in herself...if she has the courage to follow it.


Excerpt

“Truth, Darcy,” Lucas said. “How’s everything going? For real.”

 I stumbled and he put out a hand to steady me, which didn’t help since the sudden warmth of his touch made me even more klutzy.

 “I’m okay,” I said, once I’d figured how to walk again.

 “You’re lying,” he said conversationally, like he’d asked me about the weather. He tossed his long dark hair out of his eyes and I swallowed, trying to maintain my composure. “You’re worried about something. More than usual, I mean.”

 My lips parted in surprise. “How can you tell?”

 He shrugged. “I just can.” I gazed down at Toby, whose tail wagged at warp speed. “It might help to talk about it,” Lucas said, his voice soft.

 I glanced at him, startled at the intensity I saw in his eyes. I turned away, pretending to be interested in the jumble of model airplane kits in the window of the run-down hobby store.

 His hand brushed mine, lacing our fingers briefly, but before I could catch my breath, he released my hand and took hold of Toby’s leash. He cleared his throat. “That’s what friends are for, right?”

Friends. Right. Of course. I let go of the leash, letting Lucas take over. “Yeah,” I said, my voice a little wobbly. We walked in silence and I wondered if I’d hallucinated the whole almostheld-my-hand thing.

 “If you don’t tell me what’s up, I’ll just ask Charlie.”

 I took a deep breath. Inhale calm. Exhale obsessive need to analyze potential handholding event.


About the Author


Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both of her eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write and read YA books about navigating life's painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way. Catch up with Lisa at lisabrownroberts.com, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram


Giveaway


Thanks to the author, Entangled Teen, and YA Bound Tours for the How (Not) to Fall in Love blog tour information and giveaway!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Monstrous

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.

Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre.
 

And what he knows will change Kym’s life.
 

Reminiscent of Frankenstein and the tales of the Brothers Grimm, this debut novel by MarcyKate Connolly stands out as a compelling, original story that has the feel of a classic.




Everything about Monstrous is amazing. I'm seriously tempted to go pre-order this book now. A girl who would be seen and known as a monster is the hero of this story. I really want to know Kym's backstory and how she came to be. Will she fall in love Ren? Is Ren planning on deceiving her? Is the evil wizard her father? What is happening with the girls being taken away? I want to know all of this now.

Release Date: February 10th 2015

What book are you eagerly waiting on?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Endless by Amanda Gray

Standalone. Month9Books (Sept. 2013) NetGalley
Jenny Kramer knows she isn't normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them.
When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumble on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought. Like a past life.
Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren't alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. 
While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock - and the Order - Jenny and Nikolai discover a link that joins them in life - and beyond death.


Endless was not at all what I expected. I completely forgot what it was about before I started reading it so that might clue you in on my "sudden" unexpected feeling coming from this book. Endless is about a girl named Jenny who doesn't like to touch people because when she does she sees images of that persons life - more accurately she sees people's past life when she so much as grazes them with her fingertips. Then events occur where she discovers who she was in her own past life and two boys that she should have no connection to, become a close part of figuring out who she is because they were there in her dreams of her past life as a Romanov. 

Now what is so awesome about Endless is that it had the paranormal elements with Jenny's powers to see past lives and it had flashbacks of Jenny's life as a Romanov and on top of all that there was this shady secret society that controlled time travel which has something to do with Jenny's late mother. There so much in this story but it all blends together and works remarkably well. I was truly impressed by how absorbed I was in this story.

Time travel is usually a no-no for me because it makes me nervous. I don't like it. I don't trust it. Time travel should stay in books and movies and away from me. So it was a surprise to me that I enjoyed that part of the book. Although, the characters weren't time traveling. It just had to do with time travel like time travel was mostly talked about. 

I loved the flashbacks/dreams about Jenny as a Romonov. I don't really know anything about the family apart from the movie Anastasia which isn't saying much although it's a great movie nonetheless. It was so interesting seeing her life at that time. It was mostly about her and a boy named Nikolai as well as the fear her family had for their safety. Jenny herself was a likable character and I enjoyed reading her discovery of who she is and where she fits in the world. 

“It's like that sometimes for people who have had traumatic experiences in their past life. It's hard to move on, to belong, in one place when you have unresolved business in another.” 


The romance was alright. I liked Nikolai but took me some time to get to know him and see how much he cares about Jenny. I still think that there is so much more I needed to learn about him. His character feels purposely like a fixture. Someone who is too faraway from his time so that he doesn't connect with me in the present time. 

“I'd do it a thousand times over for one chance to spend my life with you.”


Ben also took time to warm up to. He was the moody bad boy type when he was first introduced. He became an invaluable secondary character with his own side story that was really appealing and that I was interested in seeing how it concluded. 

“It was like his loneliness connected them more intimately and deeply than someone she could have known for years. Like she and Ben skipped over all the stuff people usually do when they first meet. All the fake smiles and putting their best foot forwards. As if they'd jumped right to knowing each other so well they could themselves even when they weren't at their best.” 


Everything that made the story what it was kept me occupied in that fictional world. The only thing that was iffy was Nikolai whom was kind of up in the air at the end of the story. Actually everything didn't feel resolved. I felt like Endless needs a sequel but it doesn't look like it is going to happen which is unfortunate because it's a really good story that deserves one.