Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Follow - June 25th Edition


I'm taking a minute out of my busy day to drink my usual coffee (wish it could be injected via IV today) and visit my usual tradition of Friday-Follow. I look forward to visiting other bloggers each week via FF. And of course, I enjoy getting new followers each week!

Tonight I'm leaving at Lucy's bedtime to head to the beach (so she'll sleep in the car). We are making a stop in Savannah for the night and then heading over to Hilton Head tomorrow afternoon for a week seaside. I love the water. I am a water baby. I feel energized, yet relaxed, at the sound of the waves and that incredible view. I can sit and just watch the waves come in for hours. I say all of that to express an apology ahead of time for a more frequent absence this week. I'm just not sure about the wireless in our condo and therefore, I'm not sure about my connectivity with you fine people. No worries ladies and gentlemen, at the very least I'll be back next Sunday (hopefully with a boatload of book reviews)!

Happy Friday to you all and have a great week!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review #5: The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl
by Philippa Gregory
672 pages
Grade: A

This treasure was exactly what I hoped it would be. I've never considered myself a historical fiction lover but this story held my attention and had me doing a little research on the side. Any story about Henry VIII is interesting to me and this book delivered. It is lengthy, which is why it took me much longer than anticipated to complete it and review it, however, it was worth the length. The Other Boleyn Girl refers to Mary Boleyn. This book takes us to the beginning, when Mary is quite young (12) and is used by her family to seduce King Henry VIII. Ms. Gregory writes with astute clarity about the life Mary is forced into and how confusing her situation is because of her family's greed and her feelings of "love" for the king. It is also quite clear from the very introduction of Anne, that she is a force all her own. She is obsessive and quite arrogant for a woman of her time. The story conveys each character's role and that role's evolution, which allows the reader to piece together using actual facts, the reality of the time and it's events. I was astonished by the absolute rudeness and selfishness of Mary's entire family. And though I hated many of the characters, it was not because they were horribly written; it was quite the opposite. Ms. Gregory wrote these dreadful characters with such authority and perfect vision. I was impressed again and again with the story. I highly recommend the read, at the very least give it a listen! I'm looking forward to watching the movie now but I'm sure it will disappoint. 

must be a new mommy thing

I am very blessed to have a large family circle in town with us. Lucy is so loved and I hope she always knows and understands that. On a regular basis I am asked by the grandmothers, great aunts, and many more when they can watch her and for me to let them know if they are needed in anyway. I love this. However, Lucy has started walking and pushing her limits constantly to see what she is capable of doing, as well as what we will allow her to do. Because of this, I have a hard time letting anyone else watch her for very long. As I have previously stated, I am heading to the beach Friday night and I have a million things to do. I'm finding it difficult to pick up the phone and ask any of the above mentioned people to take Lucy for a few hours so that I can get beach-trip-shopping done and a little cleaning, etc. I just feel like she can be such a handful and I don't want to inconvenience anyone. I know they are all perfectly capable of keeping her safe, and I also know that she is turning into a bit of a drama queen. I think this must be me showing my true blue first time mommy colors...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Baby Brynlee's Battle

I'm up bright and early today (can you please just inject that coffee via IV) to help out a friend and her sister with a yard sale. This isn't your typical yard sale but nothing about this journey will be typical. A precious little girl has an incredibly rare genetic disorder that will require extensive procedures, which means long hospital stays at Vanderbilt (roughly 2 hours away). I don't need any glory for this, I'm actually only helping out with this event because the many other fundraisers are occurring when I'm out of town. I just HAD to help because what if this was my baby girl? All I can keep thinking (selfishly) is what would I do if this was Lucy? The whole story breaks my heart and I wish I had a lot of money to give to their family and on that note, I wish that money could fix their situation. Keep Baby Brynlee in your prayers. Ask God to perform miracles and transform this family and friends through the whole process. Thanks gals!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Follow - June 18th

Welcome Friday Followers!! This has been an incredibly hectic week at work and at play, so I've been a blog slacker. However, as of July I will be a stay-at-home mommy FINALLY!!! I have a vacation on the horizon also and I am really excited to see the beach and the ocean again this year. (We didn't go last year because my baby girl was due too close to the entire family vacation.)

In other exciting news, I purchased an incredible camera and will begin posting my new pictures soon. I have dreamed of a camera this great for many, many years and saved enough money to get it! There is nothing professional about my photos, I just love taking them and Lucy Boo is a very captivating subject. Can't wait to post her baby blues.

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you come back often. <>< Cassie

Review #4: Lucky

by Alice Sebold
246 pages
Grade: B+

I assure you, I am not as much a snob as I seem. I know that to date I haven't graded a book higher than this but I'm in the midst of another book at the moment that I feel confident with receive the coveted A. :)

Lucky is a well-written account of Alice Sebold's tragic victimization her freshmen year of college. She was raped. I found the book compelling and accurate. I could relate with her want to calm the room and put her best face forward. Though I don't wish to go into the details of my own life, I felt that she truly represented me as a rape victim. Ms. Sebold neglected to express her true feelings about the events in order to make her family and friends feel more comfortable. Her recount of the next few years, of the entire process, breaks your heart and brings forth a well of emotions. Though I loved the book overall, the first thirty-forty pages took me a long time to get through, and that is why it wasn't graded higher. I definitely recommend this read, whether you are a rape victim or not, because it puts things into perspective for us all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Sorry for my absence. There has been a ridiculous amount of stuff going on. Today is no different. Tomorrow should be much more relaxed. I'll review a few books and fill you all in on the craziness of my life in due time. For now, I hope you're all having a great week!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Review #3: One for the Money

One for the Money
by Jane Evanovich
334 pages
Grade: C

This book was a quick and easy read; I finished it within a day. Stephanie Plum finds herself in a pickle, having lost her job and in significant debt. Her car is taken, her furniture sold to keep paying rent, and she has to go to her parents for dinner on a regular basis. She decides to blackmail her cousin Vinny (big surprise that a Jersey girl has a cousin Vinny) into letting her be his latest bounty hunter. She has no concept of what she's doing and she wastes what little money she gets on junk. The book overall wasn't too disappointing because it was so short but, it wasn't nearly as entertaining as I had hoped. It's possible that the other books in the series get better but I doubt I'll chance it. I didn't love the character Stephanie Plum and honestly I just thought she was a silly girl without a concept of the real world. Also, I found myself disappointed that regardless of her many dumb mistakes, she still makes it out in the end. It wasn't the worst book I've ever read but when it comes to suspense, this was a bit of a letdown. 

Friday Follow - June 11th Edition


Hello friends and Happy Friday!!! Welcome to another edition of Friday Follow. Please feel free to look around. I have a lot going on: Cassie's 100 Books in 365 Days Challenge , My Sweet Baby , and more!! I'm also trying my hand at book reviews. I hope you all become followers and allow me to connect with each of you.

Have a great weekend all!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I took Lucy to the Chattanooga Zoo this morning for her first zoo experience. I was pleasantly surprised that she got excited from time to time and that she was a very happy baby. It is a small zoo and seems pretty perfect for a little one's attention span. We also met some new friends there (Stefanie and her daughter Taylor), which was also really cool. We have been trying to get together for the past few weeks and it finally worked out. I love meeting new people and I am excited to be finally acquiring new friends that have kids too. Most of my friends from way back are slowly moving away and none of them have children. I know that life happens and people move on but I'm hoping that finding more local friends won't be to difficult. Today was a lot of fun and baby is napping, so I need to be cleaning while I have the chance. I'll post another review soon, so come back and check it out!

<>< Cass

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

So you had a bad day...

Last night, I got a migraine. This is my first migraine in almost two years. They came back with a vengeance because I've spent the last 28 hours in agony. In addition to the pain, I have been incredibly nauseated and can't keep anything down, even water. I feel horrible because today is my honey's 25th birthday and I've spent all of my day in the bed or hugging the porcelain. He was at work all day but all I could do for him was make one of his favorites (Taco Soup) and sit there with him chatting for a little while. I feel pathetic and awful. I'm hoping that some more sleep tonight will make it disappear tomorrow. I've been planning to take Lucy to the zoo tomorrow and I hope I don't have to break those plans.  

Monday, June 7, 2010

Smoothies, Yummy!

This past weekend, I did a little retail therapy and purchased a smoothie maker. I decided to take Yoplait up on it's sweet deal (with my coupons of course) and I purchased their pre-made smoothie mixes for .48 each (normally $2.48 each). Anyway, each package makes 2 smoothies and they are delicious. There are three flavors (today I had Strawberry Mango Pineapple) and I was full until lunch! They are yummy and pretty good for you. Once my pre-made packages are gone, I'll definitely jump on this bandwagon and come up with my own creations. I've always liked smoothies but I never really thought about making them at home. This was a yummy new adventure and I'm excited to say it's likely to become a new trend around this house! At the end of the month, I'll start giving some to Lucy because her pediatrician wants her to start milk products at 11 months or so.

All of that to say, jump on the bandwagon... THEY ARE YUMMY AND HEALTHY!!!

Review #2 : Remember Me?

Remember Me? 
by Sophie Kinsella
448 pages
Grade: B+

Maybe this is a trend, maybe I'm too hard on the books I read, but I graded this book a B+. Without trying to give away too much, I'd like to lay out the story for you a bit. Lexi Smartt seems to live the life of your typical British chick-lit character. She dislikes her job, her loser boyfriend, and her life seems to be in a shambles. I want to first say that I nearly gagged when I read the first few pages. I thought this would be another book just like the rest. I am so glad I was wrong. I believe the author did a great job of changing up the typical chick-lit and putting a spin on Lexi's situation.She wakes up in the hospital after a seemingly minor accident and realizes that she doesn't remember the last 3 years of her life. The life she was living was gone and had been replaced with something very foreign to her.

This book held my interest and I was impressed by the author's twist on things.  There was never a time in which I couldn't stand the main character, which is typically my reaction to chick-lit books. I was genuinely pulling for Lexi and waiting to learn the pieces of her life that she was missing. The book wasn't a one-day reader but it holds your attention well enough that this doesn't matter. I enjoyed it and simply gave it a B+ because there's nothing life-changing about it and it's just a fun read.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lucy Bug - Spring 2010

I don't really have time tonight to write another review. But I'm planning one in my head to be written tomorrow (hopefully). In the meantime, here are pictures of my beautiful babe. They range from Easter to just yesterday. Enjoy!

Easter 2010

Before bedtime with Daddy - April 2010

"What?" - April 2010

Happy Rainy Day! - May 2010

I love that sweet baby grin! May 2010

First time swimming - Memorial Day 2010
Water baby - Memorial Day 2010
I'm afraid of just how diva she's going to be! June 2010

Friendly Friday Follow - June 4th

Good morning and Happy Friday!! This is another edition of Friendly Friday Follow. Please feel free to look around and hopefully I'll get a chance to know you. Later today, I'll review another book (trying to decide which since I've read 5 since Tuesday!!!) and hopefully post updated pictures of the babe.

A little about me for now:
~I'm Cassie, a Mrs, a Mommy, a deal-seeker, and a coffee-drinker.
~Gary is my hubby. He's an incredible one at that. We've been together for 4+ years and I can hardly remember all the losers I dated before him. (Honestly, I only dated one 'loser' and a bunch of the 'just not right for me' kind.)
~Lucy is my cutie. She's getting big all too quickly (90th percentile for height and weight) and smiles/giggles/dances constantly.
~I'm in the process of leaving my part-time job (which was full-time for the last 6 years until above mentioned child) because my in-laws need me and I really missed my daughter.
~I used to be out-going (ok, I used to be a bit arrogant and loud and I liked to think I was just out-going) but something has changed in me and now I find it hard to even make friends. I can still talk to most anyone but I doubt I'll be the one to say the first word. :/ This is something that bothers me and that I'm trying to work through. I don't quite understand how someone just flips a switch and makes such a sudden change.
~Some superficial things: I NEED 2-3 cups of coffee in the morning. I tend to be barefoot or wearing sandals at all times. I would live on the water, any water, if we could swing it and I intend to eventually. I'm a summer baby and I live like that all year long.

Much love and many blessings,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

liar, liar, pants on fire

I feel confident that I am not the only mother to experience this, so I decided to write about my frustrations. How many more times will my child make me look like a liar? For now, it's simple stuff. She talks to me all day and mimics me well. I really think that she already understands at least 8-10 words that I'm saying and can pretty much mimic them with my encouragement. But only when it's me. When my husband gets home and I say, "She can say 'love' now," Lucy just smiles and doesn't say a word. She does this with a lot of things. She crawled for me a full three weeks before she would for anyone else. The other day she took some steps on her own but hasn't done it for anyone else. All of these things aren't that big of deal. The must frustrating part comes when we've had an awful day. Lucy is already a bit of a drama queen and her world comes to an end when you take away the remote control or when you won't let her have the spoon while you feed her. She is a sweet girl but she is SO impatient (I don't know where she gets it :D). Anyway, I can e-mail or text my husband at work and tell him  that she has cried all day or that I can't seem to make her happy. But when the phone rings or someone else walks in the door (Grammy or Uncle Topher or Daddy), she dissolves into giggles and is fine. SERIOUSLY?! Thankfully, today was not one of those days. Thankfully, today she was my sweet and loving Lucy bug and I was the best mommy she could ever ask for. I love these days. I love to see the love in her eyes and feel those sweet baby hugs.

Review #1 : The Middle Place

The Middle Place
by: Kelly Corrigan
288 pages
Grade: B+

This woman's story is fairly incredible. This a true story, Kelly Corrigan's story. When I picked this book, I didn't really have a good concept of what was inside but after reading it, I am glad it was haphazardly chosen. The title references people, particularly women, that find themselves in the gray area of daughter and wife/mother. I find the concept fascinating. Essentially, the question posed becomes, do you chose your parents or your "new" family. Thankfully for this woman, there was never a time when her parents and her new family were at odds. Also, I'm not sure that I see very clearly how she got out of "the middle place." BUT, the book was intriguing, well-written, funny, and insightful. I didn't grade it an A but I would definitely recommend it to others. I found it particularly interesting that I wanted to pass it along to one of my aunt's because I just felt like she would get something out of it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

my weekend continues

Hello lovelies! Yah for five day weekends!!! Today has been hectic and busy but there are always lots of things to accomplish after a lazy weekend. Yesterday, we took Lucy swimming for the first time and she loved it! She is going to be a water baby just like I always was. I'll post an updated picture soon. I lost my camera for a bit but I didn't miss capturing too many things.

Day 1 of the book challenge has gone well. Since I spent a great deal of my day in the car running errands, I nearly completed one of my audiobooks and last night (after midnight of course) I read a great deal of another book. I think before the end of the evening, I'll have completed about 1.5. I've begun this journey with Thirteenth Tale and The Middle Place. I plan to review at least two books a week and will gladly share otherwise my opinions for any that are not reviewed.

I am very excited about this challenge! Here are my ground rules: 1. No books on the list have been previously read. 2. Audiobooks are acceptable but must be limited to only 50 titles, preferably less. 3. Remain open-minded and willing to read things that typically you would not. Also, I've decided that in the event that some of these books are difficult to obtain, I'm going to create an alternate list (of about 5 books) to put in if necessary, if things are coming to a close and I can't seem to find a book that I need.

I wish I was saying that I was wrapping things up at work, but it just isn't so. They are great employers and I didn't want to leave them high and dry, so instead of working out a two week notice, I elected to stay until my replacement is found. In addition, since I typically trained people, I will assist in training my replacement as well. They have received some resumes but I don't believe they have any interviews scheduled yet. I hope this process isn't too lengthy.

I hope you all have a great week and I'll hopefully post a review soon.
<>< Cass

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