Saturday, August 14, 2010

Penny Pinching

Money has been tight lately. Since we're saving up to buy a new house and we'll probably lose money when selling our current house, we've had to cut back a lot. Once I get my mind set on something, I become obsessed. I've scoured the interweb for tips, deals, and blogs to help save my money. Instead of being selfish, I've decided to share some of my favorites with you!

The blog that has become my go-to for the latest deals is Money Saving Mom. This chick knows her stuff! I've learned how to play the "drugstore game" and how to cut back on my grocery budget. I love that she posts freebies and deals ALL day so I'll know if something is on sale before the sale is over.

I've also signed up at to earn money while searching the net. You got it, I earn to search the Internet. Google doesn't pay me, so I found someone who would! Granted, I'm not getting paid tons, but every little bit counts, right? Swagbucks work best if you refer someone. The more people you get to sign up, the more bucks you get! This is the best time to sign up because they are giving away 70 SB for registering. All you have to do is enter the code: BackToSchool. There is a blog post by Amy on how to maximize your SB. Check it out!

Lastly, I've been doing online surveys. I know what you're thinking: WTF, why would you do that? But hey, every little bit counts! I've done online surveys before and never seemed to qualify for many of them. Well I've recently discovered and I qualify for most of the surveys! You can't cash out until after earning $30 there so I can't tell you if they are speedy sending money yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Do you have any money saving tips that you'd like to share?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Sky Is Everywhere

There has been a lot of buzz going around the blogosphere about this book. I am a follower, so of course I got it from the library to check out what all the talk was about. Well, thank God I did!

Seventeen year old Lennie is trying to figure out how to get through life after her sister Bailey's death. No one seems to understand what she's going through. No one shares her grief except for Bailey's boyfriend, Toby. Toby gets it. He knows what it feels like to lose the one person in the world that you are the closest to. Their grief brings them closer together.

Toby isn't the only boy who is occupying Lennie's time. Joe, the cute new boy in school, is popping up all over the place. Lennie, the bookworm and band geek suddenly is interested in these boys and they are interested in her too! How can she juggle both boys without her world falling apart all over again?

WOW. Just WOW! This book was so beautifully written that I found myself laughing and crying all on the same page. It's amazing that this is Jandy Nelson's debut novel. Reading this book was like reading poetry (that I could actually understand.)

Writing can only get a book so far so it's a good thing that the plot was also wonderful. It was so original and inspiring. This book teaches life lessons without beating them over your head. This book speaks to everyone who has ever lost someone they love. This book is the best book I have read so far this year.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I have been impatiently waiting for this book to come out. After reading Shiver, the first book of the trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater, I fell in love. I fell in love with the writing, the characters, and the plot. I was a slave to this book. So the obvious thing to do was to preorder Linger and wait for it's release. Surprisingly, it released before it's original date and came to me early! I. Could. Not. Wait. To. Read. This. Book.

Grace and Sam are madly in love. Grace has loved him before she knew he was a boy. She loved him as a wolf in the woods behind her home. Sam and Grace have fought to keep him from changing back into a wolf. It's early spring, and Sam should be a wolf, but he's not. Their cure worked! Now Sam has to adjust as life as a teenage boy while all of his family is roaming the wolves. Meanwhile, Grace is sick. Could the wolf inside her finally be trying to escape?

Cole is a new werewolf searching for a way out of his human life. He desperately wants to escape his mind and live life as a wolf. He's selfish and conceited and he connects instantly with Isabel, a girl who has lost her brother while trying to kill the wolf inside of him.

These four teenagers are connected in a way that no one else can understand. Can this connection help them get through their individual struggles or will the wolves tear them apart.

I hate to say it, but I think my expectations were too high for this book. Not that it wasn't fabulous, but it did not own me like the previous book. It started off a little slow for me. Because of this, it took me a week to get through it. Once it picked up though, I was there like swimwear. I also had a little trouble with the alternating POV. This may be because I was often too lazy to look at the name of the chapter before diving in. Having to read two POVs is awesome, four on the other hand can be confusing.

Although it seems like I'm complaining about the POVs, I'm totally not...really. I did LOVE "hearing" from Cole, the new wolf. I was happy that the whole book was not about the love between Sam and Grace and that the author introduced these new characters and we got to see them grow. So, the plot was great, but not AMAZEBALLS.

The writing however was AMAZEBALLS. Stiefvater's writing makes me feel like I'm floating on water. It is so poetic and beautiful and If you are one of the very few people in the world who have not read any of her books, stop whatever you're doing, and do it NOW.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spirit Bound

Last year I fell in love with the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. The first four books were AWESOME! The fourth book was pretty good, but not as good as the others (in my opinion). Needless to say, I couldn't wait until the 5th book of the series, Spirit Bound, came out this year. I pre-ordered it on Amazon so that I wouldn't have to wait on my semi-slow library. As you can tell, I was super excited to read this book.

From Goodreads:

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

I hate to say it, but the book did not live up to my expectations. I LOVED Rose and her kick ass personality in the previous books, but now she is really getting on my nerves. She is completely self-centered and puts her friends in horrible situations that could get them killed. She also leads on her boyfriend Adrian, making him believe that she's really into him, when she's constantly fantasizing about Dimitri. I did love the growth that all the other characters experienced in this book. Everyone is maturing nicely and growing up. Everyone, except for Rose.
When reading this book, I almost felt as though Mead is just pulling plots from her ass in order to finish the series. I know there will be one last book (book 6) in this series, but I hope it's not as over the top as this one. Many of the subplots were so dramatic and over the top that I wanted to literally throw the book across the room.

All this being said, I will not give up on the series. Not when there is only one book left. I will patiently wait for the final book to come out in hopes that it does not disappoint. If you are into YA paranormal fantasies, then you should definitely give this series a try. Like I said, the first 3 books were AWESOME!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ahhh...I'm in love...

with the most AMAZING house in our price range!!!!! The good news: it's damn near perfect. The bad news: we have to sell our house before we can start building.

Our house has been on the market for about a month now. How many showings? Two. Yep, you read that correctly, TWO. TWOOO! We have a pretty awesome starter home if I may say so myself. Unfortunately, the market is crap and it probably won't pick back up until the fall.

I know what you're thinking: oh, that doesn't sound so bad Leah. Just be patient. You know what I say to that? FUCK PATIENCE! I want the house NOW. Yes, I realize that I am being unreasonable and childish, but so what? I'm always unreasonable and childish.

So, because I know you're interested, here are some specs on the house:

  • Great neighborhood with a community pool, gym, tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, and club house.

  • Friends live in the same 'hood.

  • 4 bedroom

  • 3.5 baths

  • HUGE master suite

  • screened in porch

  • covered patio

  • sunroom

  • amazing kitchen

  • other amazingness

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Reckoning

Don't you hate when you fall in love with a group of characters in a series, and then the series ends?!?!? Yeah, me too. I'd been waiting and waiting for The Reckoning, the last book in the Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong, to become available from my library. Thankfully, my friend Crystal was nice enough to send me her copy to read. Of course, the next day the library had my copy ready for pick up. Silly library.

So, the third and final book picks up right where the last left off. Thankfully, there was some recap in there, otherwise I wouldn't have remembered some essential parts. Chloe, Derek, Simon, and Tori have finally found safety from the Edison Group. These supernatural teens don't know if they can trust their rescuers or even each other.

Haha...and that's all I will say because I don't want to give the plot away.

So, if you read my blog (ahem, let's pretend you do, okay?) then you know that I love YA paranormal fantasies. That, however, does not mean that I like the dark, mysterious, edgy boyfriend that seems to appear in an abundance in this genre. That is probably part of the reason I loved this series so much. It doesn't remind me of any other book or series.

This is definitely a must read series. I seriously fell in love with the characters and I will miss them. I hope that Armstrong will give glimpses of them in her next YA series.

Have you read any of the books in this trilogy? What did you think?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Beautiful Creatures

Miss me?

I have not posted on here, let alone read any other blogs in a loooong time! Sorry to keep you guys waiting. I've been working like a mad woman and that last few book I've read had to do with cervical fluid and baby-making. Thankfully, I did FINALLY finish reading Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I've had this book on my shelf at home for MONTHS. I was so excited to read it, but of course, I kept pushing it back. Once I finally finished all of my library books, I dug into it.

From Goodreads (because I'm being super lazy today):

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

So, obviously this description does not even begin to tell all this book encompasses. It was a longer read than most YA books, but it was written very well. One of the things that took me by surprise was how well these two women wrote in the voice of a teenage boy. Granted, he was more sensitive and down to earth than most teenage boys, but it wasn't overdone. I also LOVED the characters. I am from the South so I could appreciate the dialect and the way people behaved. It could have easily been set in a small town in Alabama, so I could really relate to the people and places.

It amazes me how these two authors put their idea together and created one pretty awesome book. I can't wait to read the sequel!