Monday, December 29, 2014

My So-Called Instagram Life (Christmas 2014)

Hello, everyone, and happy holidays!  I hope that you have had a nice ending to your 2014.  This year has been busier work-wise than I had planned, and I didn't get to spend much time on my blog.  However, I am still trying to update as much as possible.  Here is a little slice of my December.

A few years ago, a friend gifted the dogs some holiday antlers.  Petunia was not exactly happy about being my model, but she obliged.  

Harriet resisted at first, but eventually posed for me.  This is the look of utter defeat.

The antlers that were gifted to Meaty were just too small.  People don't really understand just how large his head is,  So here is a picture of him watching my husband put Christmas lights on our roof.  

We bought this guy to add to our outside Christmas display this year.  However, the Bay Area has seen massive rainstorms all through December with some intense wind, so he never made it outside.

My Star Wars nutcrackers with a few holiday gnomes thrown in.

Meatball was on stocking watch, waiting for Santa Pug to come.

We set up our Christmas village on our train table this year, but it didn't photograph very well.  

We still have to walk to the dogs, even during the torrential downpours we have been having throughout December.  Leaving their sweaters on was a bad call.

Slightly obsessed with my new sock monkey slippers.  

I almost got a really cute picture of the girls in front of the tree, but Harriet wasn't into it.  

This was the staging area for the pups' stockings.  I am sure the bantha and Olaf will eventually be great friends.  

Meatball was VERY excited about his stocking.  Lucky for me, he is also very patient.

Happy holidays to everyone (and a happy new year)!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dear Santa...2014

I am a little late getting my Christmas wishlist up, but that doesn't mean I haven't been planning.  This year I am very into all things Stella and Dot and dessert related.  I am hoping that my big gift will be the jewelry armoire, because I really need a better storage solution. And what better to go inside of a jewelry armoire, but more jewelry?  Am I right?

Aside from my love of jewelry, I am really into trying new dessert recipes.  I also want to try out some different kinds of tea.  I love the idea of a kettle that heats up to the exact right temperature, depending on what you are brewing.  

So these are the things that I am really into as this year wraps up.  Because you can never have too many plates with a pug on them (can you?).  Have you finished your Christmas shopping?  I haven't.  Off I go.

Christmas Wishlist 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My So-Called Instagram Life: Halloween 2014

Hi everyone!!  I know I have been a horrible blogger, but HALLOWEEN!!!  You know it is one of my favorite holidays, and I would never let it pass without checking in with you.  I love this mummy.  Our outside is pretty scary, but our inside tends towards cutesy (with husband throwing in a little scary).   

The first weekend in October usually looks like this.  We pull all of our Halloween decor off of the shelves and start sorting it to see what we have.  

This is our dogbar (the area where we keep all of our dog's meds).  The only thing new here is the Dia de los Meurtos nutcrackers, which I completely adore.  

This is our people bar.  A few new things this year, but one of my favorites is the Pug Vader card from a dear friend.  

This is our evil clown.  You have all spent a lot of time hating on him.  He even freaks me out, but he makes for a fun Halloween.  

We decided sometime early on that we needed more body parts, both human and clown.  Side note: Are you guys watching American Horror Story?  Twisty the Clown gave me nightmares!!

Every year we add a little to our zombie baby collection.  I don't like to put them out until the day of, so I have a lot of time to think about their story.  Here they are, waiting in my foyer.

It rained all Halloween day.  I was worried we wouldn't get trick-or-treaters, but it cleared up at dusk.   This is a view of our street, with our neighbor's beautiful tree. 

Our pumpkin Yoda and pumpkin Vader were front and center.

Our gnomes vs. zombie gnomes conflict was reaching new heights.

The zombie babies found a place with a zombie guard dog watching over them.  

Scenes from our yard at night.  

Is this jack-o-lantern scare or happy?  We are a house divided. 

Here is our clown tree (with body parts) from a distance.

Here it is a little closer.

I hope you all had an amazing Halloween!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Summer Reads: A New Favorite, A Bachelor Vixen, AIDS in the 80's, and A Sweet Romance

It is almost fall, so it seemed like a good time to review my summer reads.  There are four definite winners below.   I try to make these as un-spoilery as possible, so you can still enjoy the twists and turns of each book.  I think there is a little something for everyone here.

We Were Liars

We Were Liars:  I had to start off with this book, because it is now one of my all time favorites.  It is a quick read, with a twist that makes your head spin.  I actually had to listen to this book again once I was finished (and I can't believe everything I missed the first time around).

Cadence Sinclair Easton has been vacationing with her family on her grandparent's private island since she was born.  Her cousins are her best friends, and she looks forward to spending time with them every year.  She has a mysterious accident when she is fiftteen that she simply cannot remember the details of.  Cadence now suffers from debilitating migraines and takes strong pain killers which seem to leave her head in a bit of a fog.  So when she finally returns to the island during her 17th summer, she has more questions for her family than she has answers.  She slowly starts to piece together what happened, and face the truth that all actions have consequences.

I can't say anymore without giving anything away, but I would give this book five stars.  It took me a while to let go of these characters after reading and rereading.  I was haunted by everything that I didn't see the first time around (and you will be too).

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Tell the Wolves I'm Home:  It is 1987, and we are still trying to grasp the mysterious illness that is the AIDS epidemic. Teenager June Elbus loves her Uncle Finn, and he seems to be the only person in her life who can understand her.  However, she is losing her uncle to this disease, and it is like her best friend is being ripped from her.  She thought she was the closest person in the world to him, but after he dies, she realizes there was so much she didn't know.

Finn had another life that was kept a secret by her mother, in order to protect her.  Toby was Finn's partner, and perhaps the only person that loved him as much as June did.  She is reluctant to meet with him, but soon realizes that they have a few things in common, including Finn's dying wish that they take care of each other.

This was a heavy book.  I read it immediately after I finished We Were Liars (I mentioned I had a hard time letting go of that book), so it took me a while to warm up to the characters.  Once I did, I found it to be a well written story about the complications of family relationships.  Overall I give it 31/2 out of five stars.

Eleanor and Park:  This book was a sweet love story between two teenagers from the the same neighborhood, living in very different wolrds.  Eleanor has a very difficult home life, where she has to make herself almost invisible to survive.  Park comes from a loving and encouraging family.  They meet for the first time on the school bus, where Park reluctantly offers Eleanor a seat next to him.  They slowly develop a friendship, which turns into more.

 However, the turmoil Eleanor faces at home makes it necessary for her to keep the relationship and new-found happiness a secret.  She gradually opens up to Park, and lets him understand the harsh truths about her life.  It all leads up to the one night where Eleanor has to make a decision about her future, and what place Park will have in it.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.  

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends:  I love Courtney Robertson!  I want to state that at the beginning of this review, because I realize she was a controversial contestant on season 16 of The Bachelor.  In fact, Courtney was a lot of the reason that I continued to watch this season.  She was beautiful and feisty, and did a few things that definitely didn't endear her to the other women competing for Ben Flajnik's heart.  She made for great tv.  I always wanted to see what she was going to do next.  At the end of the day she won (I know, I know, it is supposed to be about love, not winning).

However, winning The Bachelor's heart was not quite the fairy tale ending that Courtney had in mind.   This book is her autobiography, and it doesn't skimp on  juicy details.  Aside form Ben, she kisses and tells about several other men, many of them celebrities.  If you watched Ben's season, you really get a different look at what when on behind the scenes, and after the cameras went away.  This was a really quick and fun read.  Five stars all the way.  It might even make you change your mind about Courtney.

One very last note here is that I posted about my love for her book on Instagram, and Courtney responded.  It was a very exciting morning for moi!!!

See my Books page to keep up with the books I am currently reading.  

Check out my books on Goodreads:

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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