Monday, December 31, 2012

Highlights: December 2012

 It's hard to believe another year has come and gone!

This month I read the following:
December 2012 (1,040 pages)
Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatshki Houston & James D. Houston
Rating: 3/5          Pages: 203           Page Goal: 18,967/15,000
Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline
Rating: 3/5          Pages: 410           Page Goal: 19,377/15,000
The Murderers' Club by P.D. Martin
Rating: 4/5          Pages: 427           Page Goal: 19,804/15,000

Not only did I meet my page goal for the year, but I exceeded my page goal by 4, 804. I'm blown away by that!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on my 2013 goals.

I did well in my International Business grad school course this semester. In December, I had 2 weeks of from classes for the holidays, which was a well-needed break. This time next year, I'm hoping to graduate with my Masters of Science in Management!!! :)

My big craft project this year was a blanket for my dad for Christmas. I didn't take a picture of it (sorry!) but it turned out lovely. I hope he enjoys it!

Since my family came to see Matt and I for the holidays, I've been able to avoid most travel! Matt and I did take a day trip this past weekend to the nearest Target/Mall/Starbucks, two hours away. Yay for after Christmas sales!!!

I'm really hoping to get to the gym more frequently soon. Matt and I get married in four months, and I feel like I'm nowhere in shape enough to fit into my dress! Wedding plans are coming along, though--slowly, but surely!

This should be a calmer time at work (fingers crossed!), so much of my focus within the next few months will be school and wedding planning.

Matt and I doing a horrible job of taking car pictures!!!
Say cheesy!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Sunday Post (9)

Hi everyone,

It's the last Sunday of the month, and you know what that means...

Time for another "Sunday Post"! The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and offers us book bloggers a chance to show our readers books we recently received, and discuss any other bookish news.

I typically do these as vlogs, but this month I'm taking a break from that. Sorry, readers. Instead, here's a lovely picture and description of books received in December:


Kindle Books (pictured in the purple Kindle case!):

Simple Living: 30 Days to Less Stuff and More Life by Lorilee Lippincott
This was a free e-book available on Amazon earlier this week. It looks like a short (89 pages) read that may help me with organization, declutter, and sanity.  

One Pink Line by Dina Silver
I have been wanting to read this book forever, but never purchased it. Earlier in December it went on sale on Amazon for only 99 cents, so I snatched it immediately! Looking forward to the read!


Other Books:

Standoff by Sandra Brown
A friend brought me to a used bookstore and I was intrigued by this thriller. I've started to really love Sandra Brown, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this novel. I am surprised, though, to find it is only 261 pages; I don't know that I've ever seen a Brown novel this short!

Kisscut by Karin Slaughter
I'm still on my Karin Slaughter kick, which I'm sure you've all noticed. I'm going back and reading her Grant County series. I read the first one, which was already on my shelves, when I realized I didn't even own the second one. Paperback Swap fixed that issue for me :)

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
This is another series I'm reading out of order, darn it! Actually, I listened to Something Blue by Emily Giffin last year during the recruitment season, without even being aware it was part of this series! I enjoyed the second one, so I'm sure I'll really like the first--and it might clear up a few things for me, too!

Poor Little Bitch Girl by Jackie Collins
This novel is proof that I can't resist a good sale. I've only listened to one Jackie Collins novel before, and enjoyed it. Poor Little Bitch Girl was on sale at Amazon for just over $4, so I got it. Sometimes, I think Amazon Prime may be the worst investment I've made, simply because it's added so many books to my shelves! 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
I'm sure most of you realize by now that I am anything but introverted. In fact, every time I've taken a test like the MBTI or other personality tests, I always score as extremely extroverted as possible. I've discovered through my management experiences how great of an asset introverts are to a team. I'm hoping this book will help me develop further understanding of introverts (as I obviously an so polar opposite) and how their abilities and personality can contribute to teams and our society.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
This is the second book Oprah has chosen for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. Matt got it for me for Christmas. Awww <3 

Stiletto 911 by Vivian Valtas Schmidt and Sue PublicoverI'd be surprised if any of you, my readers, have heard of this. I actually think it may be an indie novel? Anyway, I found it on Paperback Swap a while ago and was really excited to read it. I've had it on my PBS wishlist for months now, and it just became avaialble. Bottom line: not well-known, but stellar reviews. Definitely worth picking up, I think!


So, readers, what did you get this month? Anything particularly exciting, either that you received for Christmas or purchased yourself?!?!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Review: The Search by John Battelle

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a nerd, especially when it comes to the business section of Barnes and Noble. For whatever reason, I find businesses and their operations completely fascinating, and enjoy applying quality concepts to my own life and organization. So when I came across the book The Search: How Google and its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture by John Battelle, I had to have it!

Here's the summary, courtesy of Goodreads:
What does the world want? According to John Battelle, a company that answers that question -- in all its shades of meaning -- can unlock the most intractable riddles of both business and culture. And for the past few years, that's exactly what Google has been doing.

Jumping into the game long after Yahoo, Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, and other pioneers, Google offered a radical new approach to search, redefined the idea of viral marketing, survived the dotcom crash, and pulled off the largest and most talked about initial public offering in the history of Silicon Valley.

But The Search offers much more than the inside story of Google's triumph. It's also a big-picture book about the past, present, and future of search technology, and the enormous impact it is starting to have on marketing, media, pop culture, dating, job hunting, international law, civil liberties, and just about every other sphere of human interest.

More than any of its rivals, Google has become the gateway to instant knowledge. Hundreds of millions of people use it to satisfy their wants, needs, fears, and obsessions, creating an enormous artifact that Battelle calls "the Database of Intentions." Somewhere in Google's archives, for instance, you can find the agonized research of a gay man with AIDS, the silent plotting of a would-be bombmaker, and the anxiety of a woman checking out her blind date. Combined with the databases of thousands of other search-driven businesses, large and small, it all adds up to a goldmine of information that powerful organizations (including the government) will want to get their hands on.

No one is better qualified to explain this entire phenomenon than Battelle, who cofounded Wired and founded The Industry Standard. Perhaps more than any other journalist, he has devoted his career to finding the holy grail of technology -- something as transformational as the Macintosh was in the mid- 1980s. And he has finally found it in search.

Battelle draws on more than 350 interviews with major players from Silicon Valley to Seattle to Wall Street, including Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as competitors like Louis Monier, who invented AltaVista, and Neil Moncrief, a soft-spoken Georgian whose business Google built, destroyed, and built again.

Battelle lucidly reveals how search technology actually works, explores the amazing power of targeted advertising, and reports on the frenzy of the Google IPO, when the company tried to rewrite the rules of Wall Street and declared "don't be evil" as its corporate motto.

For anyone who wants to understand how Google really succeeded -- and the implications of a world in which every click can be preserved forever -- THE SEARCH is an eye-opening and indispensable read.

It fascinates me to think of the dawn of the search engine. Battelle recollects how search engines began and have evolved since. Information is readily available with the click of a button--and Google is the top contender. This search engine has branched out to bring users e-mail, blogs (yes, Blogger is Google's blog platform), shopping, and a wealth of other information and resources.

The only preface I have going into reading this novel is to recognize that it was written in 2005. In the world of literature, a seven-year-old book is still pretty young, but in the world of technology, this book was dead six years ago. In spite of outdated technology, it was a smooth read and maintained the interest of this nerd.

This was another November read. Here's where it got me in 2012:
The Search: How Google and its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture by John Battelle
Rating: 3/5
Pages: 306
2012 Reading Goal: 18,764/15,000

Questions for my readers:
  1. Do you have an inner nerd? If so, what kinds of books is your inner nerd attracted to?
  2. How old is "too old" for a book on technology?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

Hello Readers, and Merry Christmas! Hope yours was wonderful!

Some of you who haven't yet read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy may have received it for Christmas. If you have and aren't yet on the third book, ignore this review for now and come back to it later.

Fifty Shades Freed is the third and final book in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Here is the summary, courtesy of Goodreads:
When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees.

Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.

Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality.

You all know from past reviews I've posted that this is certainly not my favorite trilogy. And yet, I continue to read it. I have the strong need to know what the hype is about with this trilogy, and like to be able to converse with others who have read it. It also isn't such a horrible series that I have to motivate myself to pick up the book every time.

To be honest, I felt as though the third book, Fifty Shades Freed, was the worst of the three. There was action, excitement, stalkers, etc. in the first two. This one was extremely predictable and there wasn't much action. In fact, it probably made me dislike the main characters, Ana and Christian, more than I already had.

Bottom line? If you're into this trilogy, I guess it's worth the read. If you didn't care for the first two much, I wouldn't bother reading this one.

This was a November read. Here's where it got me in my page goal progress:
Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
Rating: 2/5
Pages: 448
2012 Reading Goal: 18,458/15,000

Other books in this trilogy:
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker

Happy New Year, readers! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review: Chosen to Die by Lisa Jackson

Chosen to Die by Lisa Jackson was just as riveting as the first one in her Montana/"To Die" series, Left to Die. The second book in the series picks up right where the first one left off. Here's the summary of Chosen to Die, courtesy of Goodreads:

He'll Choose Them. . .
Detective Regan Pescoli has worked the -Star Crossed Killer- case for months, never imagining she'd be captured by the madman she's been hunting. Regan knows exactly what he's capable of--and avoiding the same fate will take every drop of her courage and cunning.
Abduct Them. . .
Regan Pescoli is unlike any woman Nate Santana has met before. But now she's missing, and Nate knows something is dangerously wrong. The only person who can help him find her is Detective Selena Alvarez, Regan's partner. As Nate and Selena dig deeper into the Star-Crossed Killer case and the body count rises, the truth about Regan's disappearance becomes chillingly clear.
And Kill Them. . .
In the desolate Montana woods, evil is lurking. And with time running out, the only way to save Regan will be to get inside a killer's twisted mind and unravel a shocking message that is being revealed, one body at a time. . .
The first novel in this series had me on the edge of my seat. I read this one in a day; it was that exciting. There's much more that goes on in the novel than just the serial killer, but everything connects in the end. This is a fabulous, thrilling read, but I wouldn't recommend reading it out of series order.

I highly recommend this novel for anyone looking for a good thriller!

Here's where this book got me:
Chosen to Die by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 460
2012 Reading Goal: 18,010/15,000

Books in this series include:
  1. Left to Die
  2. Chosen to Die
  3. Born to Die
  4. Afraid to Die
Questions for my readers:
  1. What riveting read are you tangled up in this holiday season?
  2. Is there any series with which you think order does not matter?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Book Review: Left to Die by Lisa Jackson

You know that excitement you get when you discover a series you hadn't heard of before and it rocks your world? I FOUND ONE!!!

The series is Lisa Jackson's Montana series, aka To Die series. Here is the Goodreads summary for the first one in the series, Left to Die:

Nothing's More Terrifying. . .
One by one, the victims are carefully captured, toyed with, then subjected to a slow and agonizing death. Piece by piece, his exquisite plan takes shape. The police can't yet see the beauty in his work--but soon, very soon, they will. . .
Than Being Left Alone. . .
In the lonely woods around Grizzly Point, Montana, four bodies have been discovered. Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli have been hoping for a career-making case, but this is a nightmare. Even with the FBI involved, Selena and Regan have nothing to go on but a killer's cryptic notes, and the unsettling knowledge that there is much worse to come. . .
To Die. . .
When Jillian Rivers opens her eyes, she's trapped in a mangled car. Then a stranger, claiming to be a trail guide named Zane McGregor, pries her free. Though she's grateful, something about him sets Jillian on edge. And if she knew what lay out there in the woods of Montana, she'd be truly terrified. Because someone is waiting... watching... poised to strike and make Jillian the next victim...

Earlier this year I'd read Without Mercy by Lisa Jackson and rated it only a 3/5, because I was so dissatisfied with the novel. It completely turned me off from Lisa Jackson. The only reason I picked up this series is because it takes place in Montana, my home state. In the beginning, I was reminded of why I hated Without Mercy so much--it's so SLOW! The first half of this novel was really slow, but it got much more interesting about halfway through. With 25% left, I was on the edge of my seat. This book was phenomenal!!!

SPOILER ALERT!!! If you do not want to read a spoiler, please do not read the next paragraph!!!

What made it so exciting toward the end is that detective Regan Pescoli is kidnapped by this twisted killer. Then the book ends! We're left hanging! So, I immediately picked up the second one in the series, Chosen to Die, to figure out what happened to Detective Regan Pescoli.

If you love a good thriller, definitely pick up this read. Montana is always a great setting for an exciting, action-packed thriller. It will have you on the edge of your seat!

2012 Page Goal Progress:
Left to Die by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 496
2012 Reading Goal: 17,550/15,000

Books in this series:
  1. Left to Die
  2. Chosen to Die (watch for my review soon!)
  3. Born to Die
  4. Afraid to Die
Questions for my readers:
  1. Have you read any Lisa Jackson? Do you like her?
  2. What's your favorite location for a thriller novel?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book Review: My Freshman Year by Rebekah Nathan

College isn't easy--for anyone. And it's changed a lot over the years, but I'm not sure all of the employees in higher ed (myself included) always recognize just what the students are going though.

I read a pretty stellar novel in October called My Freshman Year by Rebekah Nathan. Here's the Goodreads summary:
After fifteen years of teaching anthropology at a large university, Rebekah Nathan had become baffled by her own students. Their strange behavior—eating meals at their desks, not completing reading assignments, remaining silent through class discussions—made her feel as if she were dealing with a completely foreign culture. So Nathan decided to do what anthropologists do when confused by a different culture: Go live with them. She enrolled as a freshman, moved into the dorm, ate in the dining hall, and took a full load of courses. And she came to understand that being a student is a pretty difficult job, too. Her discoveries about contemporary undergraduate culture are surprising and her observations are invaluable, making My Freshman Year essential reading for students, parents, faculty, and anyone interested in educational policy.

Rebekah Nathan (which is a pen name, by the way--it was important to the author to keep her anonymity) enrolls as a freshman at the University where she is an anthropology instructor. The name of the University is never revealed, but rather referred to as AnyU. Nathan examines her experiences as middle-aged, first time college freshman. Specific areas of "research" include the residence hall, community and diversity, perception of others, academic performance, and time management in college. In the end, Nathan reviews what lessons she learned in her freshman year of college.

The text is very well-written, but definitely written by an anthropologist, not a professional writer. Research Nathan gathers has been proven true in my college experience (this book was written one year before I went to college), and much of it likely holds true today.

I highly recommend this novel for anyone in academia--staff and faculty alike. It's important we are able to connect to our students and understand what their experiences may be like. Parents may also find this novel interesting. Students? While it would be interesting, it would probably feel too much like an anthropology lecture.
Annual page goal progress:
My Freshman Year by Rebekah Nathan
Rating: 5/5         
Pages: 168          
Page Goal: 17,054/15,000

Questions for my readers:
1. What is one of your fondest college memories?
2. Would you ever pick up a book about college from an anthropological viewpoint?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Review: The Fiction Class by Susan Breen

A few months ago, I read The Fiction Class by Susan Breen. Never heard of it? Neither had I. Here's the Goodreads summary:

On paper, Arabella Hicks seems more than qualified to teach her fiction class on the Upper West Side: she's a writer herself; she's passionate about books; she's even named after the heroine in a Georgette Heyer novel.

On the other hand, she's thirty-eight, single, and has been writing the same book for the last seven years. And she has been distracted recently: on the same day that Arabella teaches her class she also visits her mother in a nursing home outside the city. And every time they argue. Arabella wants the fighting to stop, but, as her mother puts it, "Just because we're family, doesn't mean we have to like each other." When her class takes a surprising turn and her lessons start to spill over into her weekly visits, she suddenly finds she might be holding the key to her mother's love and, dare she say it, her own inspiration. After all, as a lifelong lover of books, she knows the power of a good story.

I think most readers want to be writers. Not all, but certainly the majority of them.You can tell this novel was written by a reader who wants to be a writer--but the book was really nothing more than mediocre. The setting is predominately in a classroom where Arabella is teaching a writing class. It's ironic to me that Arabella discusses character development--and yet, the author does a really poor job of character development.

The story moved along relatively quickly, but there was nothing really remarkable about the characters or the storyline. It was all pretty tame, with virtually no climax in the storyline. It's there, but it's more like a hiccup than an actual heart rate peak. My recommendation? Leave this one on the bookstore's bookshelf.

Annual Page Goal Progress:
The Fiction Class by Susan Breen
Rating: 3/5        
Pages: 296         
Page Goal: 16,886/15,000

Questions for Readers:
1. Have any of you ever heard of this author before?
2. What do you do when you realize the climax of a novel is practically nonexistent? Do you finish the book?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Book Review: Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter

Hello again, readers!

I'm just trying to get caught up on some of my book reviews before the New Year starts. I'm so far behind! Maybe I've just been reading faster than I can catch up... ;)

There are some authors out there that aren't very well known, but produce amazing quality work. Karin Slaughter is one of them. She's not too certainly won't see hype about her book like you do each release of a James Patterson. But seriously...she's awesome.

I read one of her books in the Grant County series, unaware:
1) the book was part of a series
2) how much I would end up loving Karin Slaughter's books
3) I would shortly become a Karin Slaughter book junkie. Seriously, I have 5 waiting to be read on my bookshelf.

Blindsighted was the perfect kickoff to the Grant County series. Here's the summary, courtesy of Goodreads:
A small Georgia town erupts in panic when a young college professor is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it's only when town pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer's twisted work becomes clear.

Sara's ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, leads the investigation--a trail of terror that grows increasingly macabre when another local woman is found crucified a few days later. But he's got more than a sadistic serial killer on his hands, for the county's sole female detective, Lena Adams--the first victim's sister--wants to serve her own justice.

But it is Sara who holds the key to finding the killer. A secret from her past could unmask the brilliantly malevolent psychopath...or mean her death.

This was such a thrilling, exciting read. I was hooked in at the beginning, mostly by the drama that occurs within the first few pages. From the moment the body is discovered to the moment the killer was revealed, I was on the edge of my seat. Top that with a dramatic love story, and Karin Slaughter created the perfect thriller sundae.

I don't regret that I started this series out of order, but I will be reading the rest of the series in order. It's that good. I recommend this for anyone who loves thrillers--and doesn't mind a tad bit of gore.

Yearly Page Goal results:
Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 376
2012 Reading Goal: 16,590/15,000

The books in this series include:
  1. Blindsighted
  2. Kisscut
  3. A Faint Cold Fear
  4. Indelible
  5. Faithless
  6. Beyond Reach
Questions for my readers:
1. Have you ever read any Karin Slaughter? What do you think?
2. Is there an author you've discovered who isn't exactly "mainstream" but probably should be?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I'm sure all my readers know by now just how big of an Oprah fan I am. Remember this post? To put it lightly, I'm a little obsessed.

You may also remember that after I tweeted my excitement about Oprah's Book Club 2.0, they sent me an autographed, hardcover copy of Cheryl Strayed's Wild. I'm trying not to go too fan-girl thinking about it, but my heart rate is definitely up.

Have you heard about Wild yet? Here's the summary, courtesy of Goodreads:
A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's devastating death, her family scattered, and her own marriage was soon destroyed. With nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Gorgeously told, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild is the vivid story of a young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
As usual, Oprah did not disappoint me with this Book Club pick. I will admit that Cheryl Strayed was not my favorite person throughout the novel--I found her to be selfish, immature, and in desperate need of a reality check. What I did like about her, though, is that she's a real person who makes real mistakes. Like the rest of us, she is just looking to find herself, in spite of adversity she's faced.

The novel itself was a quick enough read. In spite of Cheryl taking this trip alone, there are a lot of different characters we're introduced to. As with life, everything cycles back and we meet most of these characters again.

For anyone who enjoys soul-searching novels, this one won't let you down. By the end of the novel, you'll want to lace up your hiking boots and start your own adventure.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 311
2012 Reading Goal: 16,214/15,000

For more information about Oprah's Book Club 2.0, visit the website here.


Have you read Wild? Did you read the electronic version with Oprah's notes, or did you purchase a paper copy?

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this novel from Oprah's Book Club 2.0 in exchange for a review. All opinions and reviews are my own.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Sunday Post (8)

Happy December, everyone!

You know what this means...time for The Sunday Post!

The Sunday Post is a feature hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. I participate in this meme once monthly to review the books I've received the previous month. I also choose to participate by posting in vlog format.

Books I received this month include:
Born to Die by Lisa Jackson
Afraid to Die by Lisa Jackson
Lethal by Sandra Brown
Fallen by Karin Slaughter
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
The New Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman
Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
The Iguana Tree by Michel Stone

I hope everyone else got some really great books!

Questions for my readers/viewers:

1. Have you read any Kristin Hannah? If I were to start reading her books, is there one in particular I should start with?

2. Do you always read books in the series order?

3. Is birth order interesting to anyone else, or am I just that big of a nerd?

Leave your responses in the comments box. I'd love to hear from you! Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Highlights: November 2012

Sorry I've been absent from posting my monthly highlights lately, guys! It feels good to get back into the swing of things and catch up on my blog!

This month I read the following:
November 2012 (1,710 pages)
Left to Die by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 5/5          Pages: 496           Page Goal: 17,550/15,000
Chosen to Die by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 5/5          Pages: 460           Page Goal: 18,010/15,000
Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
Rating: 2/5          Pages: 448           Page Goal: 18,458/15,000
The Search by John Battelle
Rating: 3/5          Pages: 306           Page Goal: 18,764/15,000

These books total 1,710 pages for the month. Considering how busy I've been, I'm pleasantly surprised by this!

However, I am months behind in posting my reviews :(

School is going great this second half of the semester. I'm ahead on all of my assignments and have a strong grasp of the concepts and their application.

It's definitely been crocheting season for me, since Christmas is right around the corner. Perhaps I'll show the crafts after they've been gifted :)

November was my last month traveling for work. This is actually the first weekend I've spent at home this month, but technically it's December now!

My life has been pretty crazy since September between work and school. I'm hoping all the drama has passed and things will only get better and calm down from here.

December is, of course, always a busy month with Christmas and New Years, but I'm really looking forward to celebrating with Matt and perhaps my family!

This was from storm Brutus. By the end of the weekend,
my car had 16 inches on it...not fun to dig out :(