Friday, June 15, 2012

Belletristic Skirt Society: April and Oliver

The month of May was my month to pick a title.  I chose 
by Tess Callahan

Since I usually write my thoughts about the books the other girls pick, I thought it might be nice to get a different perspective this month.  I actually found the book on Julie's Good Reads page, so it is kind of fitting for her to pass along her review.  You've met Julie before, here on Paper Wings, she guest posted last August giving us a fabulously southern fried green tomatoes recipe. YUM. Check it out here if you missed it last year.
Here is Julie with her handsome husband, Kevin! :)

Ok, so here's Julie........

I don’t remember what actually drew me to this particular novel, but it had been on my “to read” list for a couple years. Obviously, I was in no hurry to read it. Then Tracy it selected for the Belle Skirts to read.

April and Oliver is a dark story of a dysfunctional family and their experiences with tragedy. The theme of the book is loss and grief, and how everyone deals with it differently. It is also about how friendships change and develop over time. In the beginning, the book was a little confusing due to jumping around in different time periods, but the beautiful prose made up for it. Callahan did an exquisite job writing this story. The scenes were surreal and the characters were well developed, the only problem I had was truly connecting to the characters.  April and Oliver were both sensitive and intelligent, but many of their life choices were a little far-fetched.  It seemed to take April a long time to grow up and deal with her life.

There is a lot of sexual tension between April and Oliver as the book description implies, but I had a hard time getting past the fact that they were cousins, albeit step-cousins. There were a few twists in the story, but much of it was predictable. This being said, I would still read another novel by this Callahan if she writes another. Overall, I give April & Oliver three stars. 

There you have it! Thanks Julie for writing this for me, especially in the summer time when us teachers are suppose to be "off." :)

June's pick is
by Margaret Atwood

Happy Summer Reading!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

10 Father's Day Ideas

Hey Folks!
Father's Day is upon us...SOON! Here are some fun  ideas for those awesome men in your life. :)

From Paper Wings:

What caught my eye on Pinterest....

I love Daddy pic- can't find where it comes from, but cute idea!

Father's Day photo collage by Positively Splendid

Father's Day Printables by The Fickle Pickle

Cute Pic idea by Two Girls Stuff

Sweet Father's Day Bouquet by Funky Polka Dot Giraffe

Cute printables (I used these last year!) by Amanda's Parties to Go

Printable card by A Proffittable Lift (used this last year, too!!)

Enjoy and be sure to celebrate those fabulous fathers!!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Belletristic Skirt Society: Into the Forest

For the month of April, the Belle. Skirts read 
by  Jean Hegland

It was Rondi's month to host. 
 Isn't she pretty? :)

Here's what Amazon had to say about it:
Set in the near-future, Into the Forest is a powerfully imagined novel that focuses on the relationship between two teenage sisters living alone in their Northern California forest home.

Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society's fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to reexamine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other.

Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale, Into the Forest is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking novel of hope and despair set in a frighteningly plausible near-future America.

Ok, so I am not totally sure how I feel about this book.  I enjoyed reading it, and I found the plot line to somewhat parallel the plot line of Impatient With Desire. I thought it was interesting, and I liked the's just that... I don't know. There was something missing. At least to me there was.  I didn't care for the ending, either. I felt kind of ripped off, and left hanging. HOWEVER, it was good, and I didn't have to make myself read it.  I wanted to keep going. Does that make sense at all?

May's pick is
by Tess Callahan

Stay tuned, and keep reading!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Printables

Sometimes life goes by super fast, and before you know it...tomorrow's Mother's Day. To remedy this, here are some printables that might just keep you out of hot water! :)

Hope all the mothers out there have a fantastic day tomorrow!
You deserve it!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Summer Recipes

During the summer, I usually get really excited about trying new recipes.  I suppose it's because I am off during the summer, and there is more freedom and relaxation. summer starts in about 2 weeks! EXCITING!! I have been perusing Pinterest to collect my MUST TRY recipes for the next month.  Thought I would share these yummy prospects with you all! :)

Avocado Pasta (I kind of have a thing for avocado)

Hope these inspire you, like they have me! Happy cooking.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week is COMING!

Being a teacher myself, I am very enthusiastic about Teacher Appreciation Week! :) Here are some of my previous posts with goodies to share with those wonderful educators in your life!!

:) Tracy

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bathroom Cleaners

Ok, so as you all know...I have two boys. They use the front bathroom which is also the guest bathroom.  The BOY smell had taken it over. UGH! Part of this was my fault, as we have been so busy lately...I have neglected that area. Part of this is the fact that little boys aren't SUPER aware of themselves...if you know what I mean. 
I had had enough. Maybe it was my spider senses (I like to call my senses "spider senses" when I am prego cause they seem heightened), but I was just about to toss the entire room.
After cleaning the bathroom previously, I really didn't feel like the smell was completely gone. It lingered. I had to find something to knock this biz out for real.

So here we are. My answer. And it worked. YAY!
Mix baking soda with a little lemon juice or water until it's a pancake batter consistency. Work over the area, then let it sit for about 15 minutes.
Spray with vinegar, and wait a few minutes.
Wipe down with warm water and rag.

I was feeling so good about ridding the bathroom of the "linger", that I decided to go ahead and do my spring bathroom clean. The tile needed to be scoured badly. I came up with this...
For the grout/tile:
Again, make a mixture of peroxide and baking soda that is of pancake batter consistency. Scrub area with mixture and toothbrush (not the one you currently use). :)
Wait about 10 minutes or so, and wipe clean with warm water and rag.
I have read that some folks mix baking soda with bleach, but I didn't want to breath the fumes.
Not a great pic, I know...


It really did a good job, even if my pics don't do it justice! :)

Just thought I would pass along this helpful tip!

Happy Wednesday-

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Creative Craft Club: April

This month was the last time my Creative Craft Club at school will meet.  We only have May left before we are out for the summer, and it is a SUPER busy month for us all!  Since Mother's Day is coming up,
(MAY 13th!)
 I thought this would be a cute craft the girls could make for their moms.
A couple of months ago, I made some flower pins that were similar, but made with twine and fabric. You can see them HERE.
My friend, Kristy, over at A Pocket Full of Poise had a tutorial showing how to make these felt flower pens.  You can check the tutorial out HERE.
The girls did a great job making these! Aren't they super cute?!?!
You know you want one!!

Hope you have a relaxing weekend!
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