Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015!

The nice about Halloween being on Saturday this year.  Two days of celebrating!

Sadly I didn't win the costume contest last night.  The three finalists were people dressed as Jack Skellington and Sally from  The Nightmare Before Christmas and a girl as Snow White.  Can't compete with these, I guess.  Let's see what happens tonight.

It seemed like any other Saturday when I woke up today.  I had to do laundry today and will finish tomorrow. Then I had to get some stuff at the store.  I only saw a few people dressed as I went into the stores.  Waiting to see what lies ahead tonight.

Hope you all have a great holiday weekend.

Friday, October 30, 2015

First Photos

of my gold digger outfit. I went to my mental health center's party this afternoon. We had a costume contest and I got second place.  I will be off to the karaoke bar tonight and to another bar tomorrow night.  Here are the photos I got today:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Goodwill, Hunting for Halloween

And no, I don't mean the movie.   This year I avoided the store-bought costumes and looked for items at Goodwill and other thrift stores in my town, as well as Dollar Tree to assemble something for this year.  When the month began, I had several ideas in mind, including a mermaid, a prisoner (in orange) or a gold digger.  One night as I went to bed, I still hadn't made a decision, but kept seeing images of gold digger costumes I'd seen over the years on the web, and then decided this was what I was going to do.  I'd though of doing it for years now and now is the time.

Again, I chose to avoid store-bought costumes as there was no way I was wearing something like this:

 Adult-Costume Gold Digger Lg Halloween Costume - Adult Large
Also,  there was no Spirit store in my town this year and this was not available at Kmart (did not expect to find it there), and I didn't feel like buying from Amazon or any other sites, I knew hitting the thrift stores was in order. Since this was cheaper, I knew it was the better way to go.  Along with Goodwill, my town has several local thrift stores run by volunteers from organizations (including one run by the county hospital) and open on certain days of the week.  I visit them quite regularly.  

I got a toy firefighters' helmet and gold chains with dollar signs from the Dollar Tree.  Trying to find a shovel was hard as the toy ones are hard to find now that summer is over.  So I settled for a garden shovel, found at one of the other thrift stores.  I spray-painted the hat and shovel gold, and glued the lens from a broken flashlight onto the hat.  And from Goodwill I got a golden-threaded sweater, a gold belt, golden-strapped shoes, and blue pajama bottoms, which I spray-painted gold as well.  

More info, and photos to come.

Retelling Reading Challenge 2016

My first challenge I've signed up for for 2016.  I love retellings challenges and have to do this one. Sign up here.

Retellings Reading Challenge 2016

The Challenge:

  • For readers to read retellings of stories we know well from their chosen level in 2016:
    • Easy: 1-4 retellings
    • Medium: 5-8 retellings
    • Hard: 9-12 retellings
The Rules:

  • You must share your thoughts/reviews on the retellings you read for the book to count. You can post anywhere: your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc.
  • Join whenever, but before 31st December 2016, obviously.
  • You can read any retellings you want, they do not need to be recent releases to count.
  • There won't be any giveaways, this challenge is just for fun!
  • Use the hashtag #RetellingsRC2016 so we can follow your participation in the challenge!
Which Books Count:

  • You can read retellings of any of the following (if I've left anything out, please let me know!):
    • Classics & Children's Classics
    • Fairy Tales
    • Myths and Legends
    • Folk Tales
    • I will also accept prequels/sequels - I.E. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige is a sequel series to The Wizard of Oz, and would count.  
  • Feel free to re-read any retellings! They will also count, as long as you review them somewhere.
  • All age categories are accepted; middle grade/young fiction, YA, NA, adult.
  • All books count; physical books, audiobooks, eBooks.
  • ARCs/Proofs count, as do self-published books.
To Sign Up: 

  • Write a blog post or page/record a video about your participation in the challenge (if you're using Goodreads, Amazon, or any other platform that doesn't allow you to do this, in the link up below, just link to your public profile.)
  • If you wish, in that post/page/video you can compile a list of retellings that you hope to read and review for the challenge - but this isn't compulsory. Also, the titles you list do not have to be set in stone. If you'd like some inspiration,Goodreads has a number of lists on retellings you can browse.
  • Fill out the Mr.Linky form below. If you have a blog/channel, please make sure the link you add goes directly to your sign up post and has your blog/channel name as the title. If you're participating via Goodreads or Amazon, etc, as the title please put your "screename @ platform" - I.E. If I was participating via Goodreads, I would put "Jo @ Goodreads".
  • As you review the books, update the monthly link up pages with a link to your review.

At the very top of this post you will see the very amateurish graphic I have created for the challenge. Feel free to use it in your sidebar or sign up post/page/video if you want, but you don't have to!

I will try for the hard level. I'm sure I can get at least 10 books.  Here is what I'll be reading:
  1.  Enchanted August--Brenda Bowen
  2. The Frog Princess--Elizabeth Isele
  3. Sleeping Beauty's Daughters--Diane Zahler
  4. Deep Blue--Jennifer Donnelly
  5. Cress--Marissa Meyer
  6. Fairest--Marissa Meyer
  7. Winter--Marissa Meyer
  8. Stars Above--Marissa Meyer
  9. Cinderella and the Sheikh--Natasha Oakley
  10. The Crown--Kiera Cass
  11. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty--A.N. Roquelaure
  12. The Third Witch--Rebecca Reisert
  13. Cindy and the Fella/Calling All Glass Slippers--Jacqueline Diamond
Challenge completed on November 19

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Literary Loners Reading Challenge 2016

After years of participating in other blogs's reading challenges, I decided to try hosting one myself for next year.  I'd though of doing one for some time, but never had any ideas for one until recently.  


Literary Loners Reading Challenge 2016

There will be two options for this challenge and you may choose one or both.  The first option is to read books featuring a character identified as a loner, outcast, recluse, wallflower, or introvert. This can be the main character (such as Bella from Twilight or Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower) or a secondary one (such as Miss Havisham from Great Expectations or Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird).  The second option will be to read works written by writers known to have been loners or recluses. The great poet Emily Dickinson was very much a loner as was author J.D. Salinger,  and this link says the ancient Greek playwright Euripides was something of a loner.  A biography of such writers may be read as well.  For more reading suggestions, see the following links:

A Look at Loners in Literature
The Top 10 Loners in Literature
Fictional Loners Books
5 Books About Loners
Goodreads lists
Why Do We Love Literary Lone Wolves?

You are by no means limited to reading what is suggested in the links.  Any books you find that fit the challenge description may be read.  

Guidelines for the Challenge

  • Challenge will run from January 1 to December 31, 2016.  Books must be started on or after January 1 to count.  Re-reads will be allowed as long as they are read during the specified time period.
  • Books may cross over to other challenges in which you are participating.  
  • Fiction (all genres and subgenres), nonfiction, poetry collections and plays that fit the challenge description may be read.
  • All book formats are allowed (paper, audio, electronic, graphic novels/manga). 
  • Please link back to this blog, post about it on Facebook, Tweet about it, and so on to help spread the word.
  • I will not be creating levels.  I will leave it up to you to decide how many books to read. 
  • You do not need a blog to sign up.  You may keep tract of your progress on Goodreads, Amazon or other similar sites with a shelf dedicated to this challenge.  Or sign up on Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.
  • You do not need to post reviews, nor will there be any check-ins.

Sign up below with a direct link to your signup post, and please feel free to leave a comment after linking. 

Have fun, and I look forward to seeing what you choose to read. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Getting Ready to Host My First Reading Challenge Next Year

As I stated in an earlier post this year, I'm planning to host a reading for the first challenge for the first time in 2016.  I've been working on the post (it's in draft mode), and am trying to decide what link service to use for linkups. I need to know what is the cheapest one.   I've been considered doing a challenge for some time now, since I began  participating in challenges in 2013.   I'm still keeping my theme under wraps as I expect to have the post up sometime in November.  It won't be long now.

And right now I'm trying to wrap up some of the challenges I signed up for this year and am already pondering how many to do next year.  Of course, that all depends on which ones are offered next year and whatever new ones come up that seem interesting.  I've already decided to skip doing  a library challenge. I'm always checking books out from my library so a library challenge for me is basically redundant.  I may also skip any TBR challenges, despite how many books I have at home that I need to read.  It seems easy to neglect them, even when doing the TBR challenge.  And I may not do  any series finishing challenges this time, even though I've completed several this year already.  I'm  mainly trying to stick to thematic ones such as mysteries, romance, fantasy, animals, colors, etc.  And the one I have planned will encompass a lot of different genres.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Semi-Charmed Winter 2015 Book Challenge

Hosted by Megan at Semi-Charmed Life. Since I was an early finisher of the Summer Reading Challenge, and got to submit a category for the Winter Challange, I just have to get in on the Winter Challenge. It starts on November 1 and runs till the end of January so I've got some time.  Sign up here.

photo via @mcstroup

It's time for the next installment of the Semi-Charmed Book Challenge series! Whether you are a newcomer to the challenge or a repeat reader, I am excited to have you here today. Continue reading after the jump for the winter challenge rules and categories.

General rules:

  • The challenge will run from November 1, 2015, to January 31, 2016. No books that are started before 12 a.m. on November 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on January 31 will count.
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long, unless otherwise noted. Audiobooks and large-print books are fine, as long as the regular print version meets the length requirement.
  • A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book during a later check-in, that's fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.
  • Rereads can be used for a maximum of three books in the challenge. This rule is meant to encourage you to try new books while still allowing you to revisit books from your childhood or young adulthood that you might get more out of now. Please reread the entire book within the timeframe of the challenge in order to count it; no simply finishing old books or partial rereads.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the summer 2016 challenge.

And now for the exciting part: the challenge categories!

5 points: Read a book that has between 100 and 200 pages.   Mind Race--Patrick E. Jamieson (174 pages, 3 stars) 
10 points: Read a debut book by any author. (The book does not have to be a 2015 debut.)  The Christmas Cookie Club--Ann Pearlman (274 pages, 3 stars)
10 points: Read a book that does not take place in your current country of residence.  Three Cups of Tea--Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (349 pages, 2 stars)
10 points: Read a book that someone else has already used for the challenge. — Submitted by SCSBC15 finisher Kristen @ See You in a Porridge.   After You--Jojo Moyes (626 pages, 3 stars)
15 points: Read a book published under a pseudonym (e.g. Robert Galbraith, Sara Poole, J.D. Robb, Franklin W. Dixon, Mark Twain, etc.). — Submitted by SCSBC15 finisher Megan M.  Shopaholic to the Rescue--Sophie Kinsella (Madeline Wickham) (466 pages, 3 stars)
15 points: Read a book with “boy,” “girl,” “man” or “woman” in the title (or the plural of these words).   The Girls of Mischief Bay--Susan Mallery (538 pages, 3 stars)
15 points: Read a book with a one-word title (e.g. AttachmentsAmericanahUgliesWild, etc.). Grey--E.L. James (559 pages, 3 stars)
20 points: Read a book with a person's first and last name in the title (e.g. The Storied Life of A.J. FikryThe Story of Edgar Sawtelle).   The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle--Avi (244 pages, 3 stars)
20 points: Read a food-themed book. — Submitted by SCSBC15 finisher Jamie @ Whatever I Think Of!  Blackberry Pie Murder--Joanne Fluke (339 pages, 3 stars)
20 points: Read a book with a verb in the title. (For any grammar nerds out there, I mean “verb” in the most general sense, so gerunds count. For non-grammar-inclined people, just use any book that appears to have a verb in the title!)  Revenge Wears Prada--Lauren Weisberger (400 pages, 3 stars)
30 points: Read two books with the same title by different authors. — Submitted by SCSBC15 finisher bevchen @ Confuzzledom.   Boy Toy--Michael Craft (272 pages, 3 stars)  and  Boy Toy--Barry Lyga (410 pages, 4 stars)
30 points: Read a nonfiction book and a fiction book about the same subject (e.g. a biography and historical fiction novel about the same person; two books about a specific war or event; a nonfiction book about autism and a novel with a character who has autism, etc. The possibilities are endless!). Bipolar Disorder: Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D--Lizzie Simon (nonfiction)(211 pages, 3 stars) and  Leaving Time--Jodi Picoult (fiction) (398 pages, 3 stars)

Challenge completed on December 19

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Coca Cola Box Display at Safeway

The picture says it all....

Tombstone Marshmallow Peeps

I saw these at Rite Aid one day when I went looking for the yearly Halloween peeps.  The pumpkins and ghosts were there as always, but the black cats were nowhere to be seen.  In fact, I have not seen the black cat peeps for several years now. I don't know if they are still being made.  But I never saw the tombstones till this year and today I decided to try them.  Didn't taste too much different from all the other kinds of peeps.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It's October Now...

As much as I love the holiday, I opted not to participate in the Countdown to Halloween this year.  It was mainly because of last year when I was working long hours, causing me to miss some days on the countdown last year. I suspected more of the same would happen this year.  For one week I worked 18 hours overtime and was exhausted beyond description.  A week later, I only worked three days, still staying till 2AM.  But now I've off for almost a week now and have had plenty time to blog.  But another reason was that in the past when I participated in the countdown, my posts got repetitive and sometimes I had little to say on some days.  And last year I was afraid of not getting the day off, but I ddi as I'd asked (and I've already requested it off for this year).  But it was raining on Halloween last year.  Not too bad, we needed some rain since we've been in a drought.  But that night at the local bar, the celebration was cut short when the power went out after 10PM.  All the patrons were freaked.  I'm pretty sure I'll get it off this year, and that this year may just be better.  

On another note, my orange lights I've hung in my kitchen window the last few years have burned out so my window won't be decorated as it always has been.  Going to miss seeing this in my window.

But although I won't be participating in the countdown, I do plan to blog about some of my plans for the holiday.  I've just decided on a costume and began looking for parts today at thrift stores. Only found a few so far, and will keep looking.  In addition to Goodwill, my town has several other second-hand stores that are only open on certain days of the week.  I'm hoping I don't have to go out of town for this, but will do so if necessary.  Will tell you what I'm going to be later.