Archive | October, 2013

Trick or Treat

30 Oct

Hola Bleaders! I was nominated for not one, but two blogs this month and it’s about time I accepted these¬†treats, even though picking people of my own and whatnot’s a bit of a trick ūüėõ

Award #1

the-most-creative-blogger-award2-from-deo

I was nominated for The Most Creative Blogger Award by Container Chronicles (*cough* my mother *cough*) on the 16th and below is what I have to do to accept the award… supposedly ūüėČ

Mom’s Rules:¬†

1. Post the award on my blog.

2. Write 7 things about me.

3. Nominate 5 bloggers for the award.

7 things about me:

  1. Since tomorrow is Halloween, and this award’s about creativity, this set of questions is going to follow a certain theme ūüėČ
  2. Logan was a cow on his first Halloween and a cowboy (Woody) on his second.
  3. When I asked him what he wanted to be this year, my son said Captain Hook. He’ll get to pillage and plunder in our town as well as the next one over.
  4. I never carved a pumpkin before my first Halloween with Gabe, but now it’s something we do every year.
  5. Our DVD collection includes these 5 Halloween staples:¬†Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sweeney Todd,¬†The Rocky Horror Picture Show and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
  6. My mom took advantage of my Halloween knowledge in this music-friendly blog post.
  7. Once upon a Halloween, I sent my pen pals syringe pens, Chinese yo-yos with a candy corn print, and other other odds and ends.

My 5 nominees:

  1. Opi’s Sims
  2. 52 Brand New
  3. She’s a Maineiac
  4. Thoughts Appear
  5. The Surfing Pizza

Award #2

The Best Moment Award

My madre may have nominated me for this one, too. I asked her what she thought my Best Moment was and she said that she appreciated Resolutions Revisited because most people never revisit their resolutions beyond January.

The Rules:

1. Post the award on your blog/ who nominated you

2. State 7 things about yourself

3. Nominate 5 blogs

Seven things about me:

  1. I think this award’s strange; instead of acknowledging a blogger, I think you should acknowledge a specific blog of theirs that was their best moment. And I intend to do that ūüėČ
  2. If I had to pick a couple of my “best moments”, it would probably be 26 Letters¬† and Logan’s Log.

Nominate 5 blogs/ 7 things cont’d:

  1. I’m nominating Red Pen Mama because I knew as soon as I read “Sex Talk: Why Do Parents Say “Do as I say, Not as I Do (Did)?” that her words weren’t just something I enjoyed reading, they were words I would come back to as my son gets older.
  2. I’m nominating The Happsters because their site is full of positive reinforcement– a favorite post of mine is 10 Happy Things to Add to your Fall Bucket List.
  3. I’m nominating The Waiting because she’s also a mother to a toddler and when she posts things like The Big But they really strike a chord with me.
  4. I’m nominating Leanne Shirtliffe ~Ironic Mom simply because I love the randomness. How To Entertain Your Children by Doing Nothing, for example, is something I can see happening in my home and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it to.
  5. I’m nominating The Monster in Your Closet¬†because I enjoy her writing style as well as her wit.¬†Confidence from blogging¬†embodies both of those things and is relevant to anyone who decides to blog.

Congratulations to all of my nominees! I hope that you all keep blogging and that your Halloween’s a happy one!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

For Your Viewing Pleasure

25 Oct

imageedit_17_8276308506I saved this post until now for a couple reasons: 1) because I wanted to include what I thought about all the premieres I was looking forward to in one post instead of in several, and 2) because now if I spoiled anything it’s your own fault for not watching any of the following by now, haha.

You may be wondering why I’m talking about TV on a blog that revolves around my pen pal hobby, but hardly a letter goes by where I’m not talking about a show so it’s time they got some recognition here as well. And much like how I’d talk to a pen pal, I’ll share how I became acquainted with each of the shows as well as my opinions on the first episodes of the new seasons in the order they aired.

I watched¬†Nashville¬†on a whim last year. I ¬†liked Connie Britton in the first season of¬†American Horror Story¬†and haven’t seen Hayden Panettiere in anything I haven’t enjoyed (yet) so mix them with some music and you have yourself a pilot I’ll sit down to watch. Although I was never blown away by the show, usually catching up on episodes every couple weeks, the finale made sure I’d be watching again this fall. I thought the premiere of the second season lived up to the expectations everyone had for the show. Some things might not have happened the way I would have liked them to, but 1) it’s only the second season so there’s still hope for the couples I ship and 2) the writers haven’t left out anything like Glee¬†did¬†so I definitely appreciate that aspect! I probably won’t watch this season as the episodes air, but I’ll be watching it whenever that country mood strikes.

Thanks to a website that constantly streamed TV shows and movies, I stumbled upon¬†The Big Bang Theory¬†sometime¬†after the second season wrapped up and I was/am so glad I did. I got hooked that day and I’ve been hooked ever since. One might think the show would go stale long before its seventh season, but I have yet to be disappointed. The cast, whether they’re from the beginning or joined several seasons later, all compliment each other and deliver the lines as if they’re really those people. There’s not a character who doesn’t belong on the show or an episode that hasn’t made me laugh out loud, the season seven premiere included.

I have been a fan of¬†Glee¬†since the pilot aired for the very first time. I watched it religiously, listened to the music faithfully on the iPod shuffle I had reserved just for the covers, and talked to anyone and everyone about this glorious show I was gleeked out on. Unfortunately, the show has gone down hill over the past couple seasons. I was (and am) one of the fans who thought it should have just ended on a high note back in season 3 since most of the characters were graduating. (There are a lot of things I think¬†Glee should have done, but this is not the time or place for that list!) Even though I think the show should have ended a while ago, I am going to continue to watch it until it ends for real. Although we’re only a couple episodes into the fifth season,¬†Glee¬†has already been picked up for a sixth, and now that I’ve seen this season’s premiere I can tell you that I think that is a mistake. I feel as though the writers are out of ideas, or that the few ideas they do have mess up the continuity of the show. For example, they wanted Ryder around to be in the Beatles’ cover “I Saw Her Standing There”/ be a potential candidate for Tina to take to prom so they completely forgot that in the season 4 finale that he was going to quit the glee club after what Wade/Unique put him through. Granted, Ryder is my favorite of the characters introduced last season, but it annoys me that they didn’t address it. I hate the fact that unlike the other seasons, this one didn’t start at the beginning of the school year, so things like Artie and Kitty’s relationship suddenly intensifying seems really out of left field to me. I can go on, but I think I made my point. This season doesn’t look like it’s going to live up to the ones before it, and it’s because the writers refuse to try anymore, in my opinion.

I have been watching¬†MasterChef¬†before becoming a mother, so between that and now having a little guy who plays in his little kitchen on a regular basis, I was definitely intrigued by¬†MasterChef Junior. These kids were amazing; the 12 we saw at the end of the premiere all could put most of the adults who have competed before to shame. They are these 8-13 year-olds who are making these extravagant dishes that I never would have touched when I was their age, let alone tasted. I’m definitely curious to see what these kids are going to do next and what Logan’s going to be up against in 6 years ūüėČ

Once Upon a Time¬†is such a creative show, so much so that I wish I would have thought of it or something like it, haha. The second season wasn’t as good as the first, but I still liked it, especially since we found out who Henry’s dad is. When I first watched the premiere for the third season it reminded me so much of the beginning even though it was different at the same time. I love that the main characters are now in Neverland and that this Neverland is unlike any other I’ve seen before it. It’s so creepy but so intriguing, like how the show ended with the Lost Boys ganging up on Henry and Peter Pan saying “Let’s play!” (see the final scene here). Again, so creepy but oh so intriguing! Out of all the premieres back in September this one was my favorite. Did I mention that liked how Henry’s dad is around now? Hehe.

The third season of¬†Revenge¬†is the one I was the most excited for after the finales last spring since Emily revealed to her childhood sweetheart that she was the real Amanda Clarke, Nolan was arrested, and Victoria’s first-born, Patrick, showed up at her doorstep. It was all rather epic. I wouldn’t say the premiere wasn’t what I was expecting, but nothing that I wanted to occur happened. I thought Patrick would be too pissed off about his history to go horseback riding and whatnot with his mother, that Nolan would spend some of the season in prison until Emily could get him out, and that Jack would join forces with Emily instead of giving her an ultimatum. This season may not have started the way I would have liked, but considering this is the last one I’m confident it will come to a satisfying conclusion.

My friend Nicole is responsible for introducing me to a lot of things I now love, and one of those things is¬†The Vampire Diaries. I put off watching it for a while because I was convinced it would be a¬†Twilight¬†rip-off, but Nicole assured me there was more to this series than a lion falling in love with a lamb. The season 5 premiere, for example, had two vampire friends going off to college where their roommate was killed by another vampire, an immortal¬†doppelg√§nger searching for another¬†doppelg√§nger who used to be a vampire, and there are some gypsies travelers around now, too. The premiere seemed to have a little too much going on, but as the season progresses nothing feels unnecessary… minus Bonnie, but I never liked her ūüėõ

The Originals¬†is a spin-off of¬†The Vampire Diaries, and though I was never too crazy about the “first family of vampires” on the original series, between a first look last spring and the pilot this fall, Niklaus and his siblings have finally grown on me. They went from being adversaries who just would NOT go away to a family that’s up against odds like extraordinary witches and a girl being pregnant with Klaus’ hybrid child. I especially like Rebekah more this time around since there’s more to her now than just being a thorn in Elena Gilbert’s side. I also like the witches in New Orleans more than the obnoxious one back in Mystic Falls who just needs to leave the show (Bonnie’s already dead after all!) SO! While this show definitely has its perks, I do think you need to be a fan of¬†The Vampire Diaries¬†to appreciate ’em.

The season premiere of¬†American Horror Story¬†did not disappoint. I love how each season is a completely new story line and¬†Coven¬†looks like it will live up to the stories that came before it. Jessica Lange has been perfect in each of the rolls she has been given over the past three years, and should there ever be a season without her that will be the show’s downfall. I’m glad Taissa Farminga is back after being gone during¬†Asylum and I think¬†Kathy Bates and Angela Basset are both welcome additions to the show– I can’t wait to see what they’re all going to brew up!

I have seen bits and pieces of¬†Once Upon a Time in Wonderland¬†thanks to an assortment of promotional clips, but the clips, however great, didn’t do the premiere justice. A lot of graphics could have been better, but the story was solid, living up to both the Wonderland franchise and the original¬†Once Upon a Time¬†series. Well, minus the Cheshire Cat. I know the creators want to put their own spin on characters, but that was ridiculous… and not in a good way ūüėČ At least Alice is as epic as ever– maybe even more so. I think it’s going to be a great season; like the rabbit said at the beginning of the next episode, Alice’s greatest adventure has just begun.

If you watched any of these shows I’d love to hear what you thought; you can also tell me if there’s a show I should also be watching this fall. Happy viewing &/or blogging!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

7 Deadly Sins: Pride

20 Oct

Pride [prayhd] noun
a¬†high¬†or¬†inordinate¬†opinion¬†of¬†one’s¬†own¬†dignity,
importance, merit, or superiority, 
whether as cherished in
the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.

Why Kate Sincerely thinks Pride’s considered a deadly sin:

We’re all familiar with the sentiment “the first step to solving any problem is to admit that there is one”, and though we all heard that, we still keep our problems buried. We say things like how we don’t want to burden people with our issues, but a lot of the time that’s just a cover we use when we’re embarrassed of the cards we’ve been dealt.

Some of my Recent Sins:

Gabe and I seem to have money problems every other month; it’s like when we do get caught up another expense comes along. Most recently: both vehicles not wanting to start. Although we could really use some a lot of help getting caught up again, I haven’t really asked anyone since I feel like I’m always asking. This may or may not really be the case, but my pride makes me think otherwise.

Mr. Logan that Monday evening

Mr. Logan that Monday evening

On the 14TH our son had to have two of his teeth taken out because they were broken. I kept this off my facebook (or tried to) because I didn’t want to be asked a lot of questions or look like I’m a bad mother. My family knew about it and I vented to a few pen pals, but that was all my pride could handle. And though I’m sharing this now, I still would appreciate not being questioned about this. All you need to know is that the problem teeth were removed, Logan wasn’t happy that morning but has been fine ever since, and I still feel like a bad mother but with any luck I’ll look back on this time and be proud of what we did for the little guy.

It’s possible that I cried a little as I wrote this; it’s been a tough week for me in the pride department! If you’re struggling with something, you really should confide in someone. They may not make your problem go away, but you might feel somewhat better. If you really want to take pride in yourself, take care of yourself.

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

100 Postcards and Counting

15 Oct

I have been on Postcrossing for almost a year now, and I now have 100 postcards to show for it! You may be wondering why it took so long, but after I reached my goal of getting/sending 50, I started only sending cards on days I didn’t get any mail to respond to. I “documented” those first 50 postcards I received here, so now it’s time for me to do the same with the newest batch ūüôā

Arab Emirates

I have seen Dubai… And learned that AE means Arab Emirates, haha.

Australia

I got to see Picnic Bay; the postcrosser who gave me the view also ¬†gave me the tip that it’s an ideal holiday place.

Belarus

In addition to seeing Minsk and Mockba, I also got to see a cartoon bunny playing tennis with some mice, a picture of an owl, and Dublin, Ireland.

Canada

The postcard I received from Canada featured a wood carving entitled “An Old Tree’s Story”.

China

A geological park in Haikou is what was shown on this postcard.

Finland

Someone from here shared an illustration of a family camping with me.

France

Thanks to the two postcards I received from France I have seen multiple views of both Saint-Tropez and Tourcoing.

Germany

I have seen Hamburg, Kassel, Halle, and other destinations postcrossers seemed to like, I learned that Thuringia is known as “The Green Heart of Germany”, and I’ve also been given pictures of ladybugs, a stack of books, and the Eiffel Tower ūüėõ

Great Britain

Despite this sender being from GB, she sent me a postcard from Cyprus, hehe.

India

Not only did I see the Purple Datura flower, I learned that it’s native of India and also know as Devil’s Trumpet.

Japan

The postcards from Japan featured Lake Motosu and the rock garden of Ryoan-ji Temple.

Netherlands

In addition to more than one postcard with a windmill on it, I received a picture of an adorable little girl sunglasses, a 3D picture of a dolphin, and a cartoon version of a real map.

Poland

I saw Krakow. At least I think it was Krakow… the postcard made me think that the one place had four different spellings.

Russia

In addition to the majority of my “Postcards from Wonderland” coming from Russia, I also got other imaginative postcards like one entitled “Dream on a Thread”. One postcrosser sent me a postcard with the Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon, and another shared this quote with me: “For me, growth begins immediately after I am able to admit my mistakes and forgive myself” -Kimberly Kirberger.

Taiwan

I received a picturesque view of Old Mountain Line Railway and another of Taitung.

Ukraine

In addition to seeing many landmarks (though one postcard was responsible for most of them), one postcrosser also sent me a summer to-do list that included things like reading a book, traveling, and riding horses.

United States

I got scenic postcards from Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Hershey, Pennsylvania, as well as an artsy one from southern California. Other postcards included the presidents, a screen shot from Harry Potter, and Wonderland friendly elements.

If I had a scanner, this American would gladly share some of my favorites from above with you. However, some postcrossers have been nice enough to post images prior to sending their contribution to my humble abode so I thought I’d leave you with a few examples. All the best from Michigan!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Pen Pal of the Month- October

10 Oct

retiredI first started talking to¬†K√§ra over three years ago. Although our interests and hobbies were quite different I was drawn to her… likely because we both consider ourselves socially awkward and therefore express ourselves better on paper. I have mentioned her Sims-friendly blog¬†on here before, but what you might not know is that¬†K√§ra was my #1 motivator for starting a blog of my own since I enjoyed reading hers as long as I have been reading her letters. As you’ll see in the response to the very first question,¬†K√§ra wasn’t too excited about me acknowledging her here, but it only seemed right that I did so now that an opportunity presented itself :-). So without further delay…

SK: How do you feel about being pen pal of the month?

K√§ra:¬†Shy. I don’t like being in the spotlight, lol. But it’s an honor, of course.

SK: When and why did you get into pen palling?

K√§ra:¬†Oh geez. It was in elementary school. My parents signed me up for a USPS match-up for kids. I was matched with a girl from Iowa, Jenny. We wrote to each other for a long time, and she came out to stay with me in Massachusetts one summer. We are no longer in touch, but I’ve had pen pals on and off since then.

SK: What’s your favorite thing about pen palling?

K√§ra:¬†Writing as a form of communication. I’m kind of awkward socially- I’m shy and talk too fast and stumble over my words. I far prefer writing. Also…who doesn’t like getting mail?

SK: What’s your favorite thing about having me as your pen pal?

K√§ra: You are very understanding when it comes to my writing style…. extremely long typed letters that don’t come all that often. I try my best, but I have far too many hobbies, lol. Also, you ask a lot of questions making it easy to carry on a conversation.

SK: What’s your favorite thing about October?

K√§ra:¬†October is my FAVORITE month. Next year, I’m getting married in October! I love cool weather, I love leaves changing, I love pumpkins, apples, cinnamon, fall decorations…all of it. It’s such an awesome time of year!

SK: What are you looking forward to this month? This year?

K√§ra:¬†This month? Pretty much everything I just mentioned in the last question…the arrival of fall! This year? Well, there isn’t much left to it, but it’s going to be awesome. First it’s October with all its awesomeness, then I have a Maine Trip in November! Woohoo!!! Then it’s Christmas…I freaking love Christmas.

SK: What, if anything, do you have planned for Halloween?

K√§ra:¬†I don’t have kids yet, so no trick-or-treating for me, but I get to hand out candy. Since I live in a nice neighborhood in a city, I get LOTS of trick-or-treaters. I love handing out candy (where I grew up we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters…seriously…my parents drive me 20 minutes to a mall, lol). Also, we have a small halloween party to go to before that…I’m not a party person, but it’s with only a few friends and we do it every year.

K√§ra obviously has a lot of reasons to love October and with any luck this recognition is another thing on that list. I may not hear from her as often as I’d like to, and I unfortunately didn’t get to meet her over the summer like I/we wanted, but I’m happy that she takes our friendship so seriously and writes me when she can. I hope the letter I’ll be responding to shortly (and the enclosed prizes and whatnot!) find her well. And if you’re interested, you can find her at her other blog, too (Note: in her awesome header, one of the things on the cat’s to do list is “Write to Kate”, hehe).

Sincerely, Kate ~!~

Fall Into a Book

5 Oct

Much like when I posted My Summer Reading List, this is an anthology of book reviews since I have too many other ideas to devote entire blogs to each of the books I read.

Deep Fried and Pickled– Paisley Ray. When I wrote my last book review, I wasn’t too impressed with the book I was currently reading on my Kindle to the point I was wondering if I just didn’t like e-reading, but I’m happy to report¬†Deep Fried and Pickled¬†was so much better than Nick Damon’s¬†Shadow of Oz. “Razzle” seems like a girl I’d want to hang out with, but I’d probably pass on any road-trips or parties or road-trips to parties that involve Bridget or Nash. I fully intend to read the other e-books in¬†The Rachel O’Brien Chronicles one of these days—¬†I may not want to hang out with some of the people Rachael hangs out with, but I do like reading about them all so much I’ll look into more by Paisley Ray.

The¬†Extraordinary¬†Secrets of April, May & June– Robin Benway.¬†The sisters in this book were something else I liked reading about, especially since each sister narrated. This book may have been written for teenagers, but as someone who read and liked The Help, this adult liked seeing another book narrated by more than one person. My favorite of the sisters was May; her extraordinary secret might not have been that cool, but her sarcasm is, in my opinion. If Robin Benway were to write a sequel I’d definitely read it.

City of Ashes– Cassandra Clare.¬†Speaking of sequels, when I first read¬†City of Bones¬†I was in no hurry to read¬†City of Ashes.¬†It’s not that the former was a bad book, it just didn’t live up to the expectations I had after reading The Infernal Devices Trilogy. Those feelings aside I wanted to see the movie anyway. Sure, it was pretty different from the book, but in a good way as there was less fluff (e.g. a teen becoming a rat). I decided to acquire the 2nd of¬†The Mortal Instruments Series after the movie and much like the first installment,¬†City of Ashes¬†seemed to drag on for a while. As the book progressed the story got a bit better and I liked a couple characters more, too, though once again I’m left in no hurry to read the next book.

Seven Deadly Sins Volume 1– Robin Wasserman.¬†I’m sure it comes as no surprise to my faithful bleaders that I was intrigued by a “Seven Deadly Sins” series from the moment I saw them. I liked what I read in Schuler’s bookstore and got the first two volumes then and there (the third was just released a couple days ago), though they fell by the wayside since I had other stuff I wanted to read. I was between books right around the time I posted my last Seven Deadly Sins blog, and since that and Wasserman’s first book were both revolving around lust I took that as a sign to read SDSV1 next- something I finished within a week. There are a few characters I wouldn’t mind being killed off come the Wrath installment, but with the exception of obscure Miranda, I enjoyed how each character’s stories intertwined, making Kaia– AKA trouble in a mini skirt– worth keeping around. I know that $#!% is about to hit the fan with Adam and Harper, but I like him with her more than I ever cared for Beth so hopefully they wind up together if/when the dust settles.

Seven Deadly Sins Volume 2– Robin Wasserman.¬†Of course I read Volume 2 next! I had to know what happened next between Adam and Harper and was curious to see what was going on with Kane and Beth, too. Unfortunately Adam and Harper didn’t last very long; I knew their relationship would implode but I was hoping they’d be together for a while. Just like I was hoping Kane would seduce the ice queen. Kaia has become a favorite character, I like how she is when she’s with Reed and I love how she became a real friend to Harper. What I don’t like: someone stalking her, especially someone who should know better. That said, I hope that once I get my hands on Volume 3 I’ll find out why Mr. Powell wound up in such a small town.

Dead Letter Office– Kira Snyder.¬†While I waited on SDSV3 I decided to read¬†Dead Letter Office, a Kindle book I discovered thanks to The Moody Reader’s blog. The first couple of chapters really caught my attention, and I know if my pen pal Justine were to read it it would catch hers too. What really set this apart from the other books I’ve read this past year was that it was interactive. I loved being able to decide where 16-year-old Celia was going for Halloween, which friend(s) she should ask for help, etc. etc. I like how a letter from the past helped her group of friends solve a recent murder, and I like that even though the book ended nicely, it set it up for more mysteries in more books. Fortunately for me the second book is already available…

Post Mortem– Kira Snyder.¬†This book lived up to the original one, but it’s ending really left me wanting more and there’s not a third installment of¬†The Parish Mail¬†series yet– bah humbug! The good news is that since these books have that “choose your own adventure” element, if I find myself needing a fix before the third book is released I can reread the first two books and choose different paths. The chances of this happening are very likely… even though there were multiple typos in both of the books– I don’t think that’s necessarily Kira’s fault but whoever edited &/or transcribed it.

So all in all, I liked just about everything I read and would recommend most of them, too. If you have any book recommendations for me I’d love to hear ’em, and if you think these books reviews need something else you can tell me that as well. I just started PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern, and the third and final volume of the¬†Seven Deadly Sins series will be here by the time I’m done. Stay tuned for more book reviews and other blogs in general!

Sincerely, Kate ~!~