Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Reviews: The Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

Friday morning I woke up expecting to clean a little, watch a little Hulu, hang out with my girls, wait for daddy to get home, and enjoy the start of our weekend. It didn't quite work out that way. As soon as we woke up Friday morning, Josie began throwing up. The poor little thing threw up a ton between 7am & 4pm. James came home from work and took her to the doctor and they confirmed she had the flu. We prayed and prayed no one else would get sick and she would heal quickly. Praise Jesus, no one else got sick and she is feeling much better. I spent a lot of time snuggling on the couch with my sick little girl and decided to pick up a series of books I had started awhile back. After re-starting it.. I can't remember why I ever put it down. I'm going to go back and re-read the first 7 books so that I can review them for you after I finish out the series.

My thoughts on the Sookie Stackhouse series as a whole: Charlaine Harris really takes you to a wonderful place in these books. Bon Temps is full of genuine characters, nefarious villains, and a large variety of supernatural phenomenon. The friendships are endearing, the love stories are passionate, and the mysteries are heart pounding. These books are "page turners" at their finest.
If you watch the HBO show True Blood you will still enjoy these books. The show stays close enough to the books that it still remains true to the story yet different enough that I could both read the books and watch the show and not get bored.

*These books have a lot of mature (sexual, violence, language) content in them. If that's something you're uncomfortable with, skip this series*

From Dead To Worse (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood Book 8) by Charlaine Harris

 The supernatural community in Bon Temps, Louisiana is reeling from two hard blows: the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina, and the manmade horror of the explosion at the vampire summit in the up-north city of Rhodes. Sookie Stackhouse is safe but dazed, and she's yearning for things to get back to normal. But that's just not happening. Too many vampires - some friends, some not - were killed or injured, and her were-tiger boyfriend Quinn is among the missing. It's clear that things are changing, whether the weres and vamps like it or not. And Sookie, Friend to the Pack, blood-bonded to the leader of the local vampire community, is caught up in those changes. She's about to find herself facing danger and death and, not for the first time, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood has stopped flowing, Sookie's world will be forever altered ...

What I thought of book 8: I finished this book in two days. It was a really enjoyable book. It made me sorry I ever put down the series.

Dead And Gone (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood Book 9) by Charlaine Harris

Except for Sookie Stackhouse, folks in Bon Temps, Louisiana, knew little about vamps-and nothing about weres. Until now. The weres and shifters have finally revealed their existence to the ordinary world. And the backlash may have claimed the life of someone Sookie knew well. But her determination to find out who was responsible for the murder is put aside in the face of a far greater danger. A race of unhuman beings-older, more powerful, and more secretive than vampires or werewolves-is preparing for war. And Sookie will find herself an all- too human pawn in their battle...

What I thought of book 9: I finished all 300+ pages of this book in one day. To say it was good would be an understatement. I would be lying though if I didn't tell you that the climax of the story was slightly disappointing. Without giving too much away, one of the plot lines ended in a way that kind of fell flat for me. I also felt like the last few chapters were slightly rushed. Overall, neither of those things affects my view of the book. I still thought it was great and I can't wait to get the next one in the mail!

I will continue adding reviews to this page as I read the other books in this series.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why I've been M.I.A. + Big News!

I know it's been awhile since my last update. We have been so busy! We flew from Oahu to Virginia Beach in December. We spent a wonderful Christmas together as a family.. always a blessing but even more so since we couldn't fly home in 2011 when Delilah was born. Then the girls and I spent some time with my family while James flew back to Oahu and finished up everything with the move. He came back in February and we all drove up to Northern VA to start our new adventure! 
Here's what we've been up to..

:: We bought our first home! ::


:: We shared silly meals with people we love ::

:: We played in the snow on several different occasions.. something we all really missed in Hawaii ::

:: We spend several weeks with a bad cold and spent lots of time snuggling and resting ::

:: We had a wonderful Easter with my parents ::


 :: Baby #3 due to arrive December 6th, 2013 ::

We are feeling so so so blessed. I say that not to brag but just to give thanks and respect to the ultimate giver of blessings. Thank you God for all you've given us!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Oahu Spots: Hanks Haute Dogs & Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

    I know it has been way too long since I've posted. Life has been kind of crazy getting ready for our move. I am sad (and happy) to say this is probably my last Oahu spot post! I only have two days left on Oahu and they will be spent mostly cleaning and taking care of my babies. After a month with my family and some time getting settled in our new place I'll share with you all the things I love about Northern Virginia. I have high hopes that we will find a lot to share.

   The last few weeks we went to a couple of our favorite places one last time before we leave. These are definitely places to put on your MUST VISIT list if you ever make it to Oahu.

Hanks Haute Dogs - Hank's has been featured on both Diners, Drive ins, and Dives, and Man Vs. Food Nation. It is awesome. I definitely recommend the chicken dog and you mustmustmust get the duck fat fries. They are a little pricey for hot dogs.. just to warn you. They are SO worth it though. My mouth is watering.. I may have to convince James to take me just one more time tomorrow afternoon.

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck - There are a lot of shrimp trucks on Oahu but we heard from everyone when we came here that THIS was the best. It really is everything we hoped it would be. You definitely have to go to the location in Kahuku and NOT Haleiwa because there is a huge difference. We've tried all three kinds of shrimp and they are all worth trying. I personally don't prefer the "Hot & Spicy" because it is really spicy. The flavor is really good, and James gets a half order sometimes because he loves it, but it is a little too much for me. The girls really love the Jumbo Garlic Hot Dog with rice.

Delilah enjoying a Garlic Hot Dog - 2012
James with our lunch - 2012

James on my 22nd Birthday at Giovanni's - 2010
Baby Josie at Giovanni's - 2010
My birthday at Giovanni's - 2010

Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a really lovely thanksgiving yesterday. We definitely did. We relaxed all morning. We called Mimi (my mom) to say Happy Thanksgiving and Grandma (his mom) to say Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday (I hope you had a great birthday, Mom!). Grandma wanted a picture so we took one while James and I still weren't looking super awesome.

Josie is making that face because she's trying to see her cute little piggie tails.
She loved them and kept asking me to fix them every time they got messed up.

Me and my cute little kitchen helper started prepping and cooking around 10am.
Elbow deep under the skin. I slathered it in a rosemary garlic compound butter that Josie helped me make.

It was my first time making a full sized turkey. I was pretty worried but it was one of the most juicy turkeys I've ever had.
We had stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, warm rolls & butter.

It was well worth the hours in the kitchen and the extra few pounds!
We had a great day together as a family, and a great meal with our good friend Derek. Nothing is more adorable than listening to two grown men watching football, talking about Josie "pee-peeing in the potty".  We missed our family & friends that couldn't be here, but it was still a really great day. Hope everyone had a very happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love is Christmas

This is a song worth listening to.

"Love Is Christmas"
Sara Bareilles

I don’t care if the house is packed,
Or the strings of light are broken.
I don’t care if the gifts are wrapped,
Or there’s nothing here to open.

Love is not a toy, and no paper will conceal it.

Love is simply joy that I’m home.

I don’t care if the carpet's stained; we've got food upon our table.

I don’t care if it’s gonna rain, our little room is warm and stable.

Love is who we are, and no season can contain it.

Love would never fall for that.

We sing oooooooooooooooo


Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Why so scared that you’ll mess it up? When perfection keeps you haunted.

All we need is your best my love, that’s all anyone ever wanted.

Love is how we do, let no judgment overrule it.

Love I look to you, and I sing.



Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oahu Spot: The Counter

The Counter burgers are delicious and fresh. Totally worth the money.
Mini Burgers were perfectly sized for little hands.
The "Fifty-Fifty" with Fries and Sweet Potato Fries. Both fries were awesome. We all ate our fill and had some left over.

James got a custom built burger with Jalapeno Jack, Bacon, Sauteed Mushrooms, Organic Green Chilis, and Garlic Aioli. He was really pleased to find out the green chilis were the real deal. My New Mexico man was a happy one :)

I got a Backyard Barbeque Burger in a Bowl. It was really tasty but I enjoyed James burger more. I would custom make my own next time.

 All four of us were very happy with our lunch at The Counter and would definitely come here again. I think there is a location near where we are moving in Virginia! I wish we had found this place a few years ago. It was a sit down place that was still on the louder side - perfect for families with small children. If there is a location near you, go try it out! It's worth it :)

*I wasn't paid or compensated for this review. They're just yummy burgers I wanted to share with you.*

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Christmas Playlist

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Target has decked their halls, the mall has up decorations, and as is tradition we decorated this past Wednesday on my birthday. In honor of the start of the holiday season, whether it starts now or after Thanksgiving, here are my top 20 favorite Christmas songs this year. What are your favorites?