Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sing Along Saturday: Let's Dance!

AH! I can't believe almost forgot about sharing music today, because, you KNOW I've got music to share! Oh my word. I can't even tell you about how much fun this week has been discovering music that I can't get enough of and all of it makes me want to dance. All of it. How am I going to choose one to share?

I can't!!

So I will share a few and here's hoping you actually click and listen. Because if you don't, what fun is that? NOT FUN AT ALL!

Okay, as you know, kpop as taken over my world. I absolutely love it and can't seem to get enough. Why? Because... it makes me want to dance.  It makes me happy. It's bright and fun and upbeat. Here's a couple "new to me" songs (aka. not Super Junior songs) that I have loved this week, songs that make me want to dance like no one's business:

This one called Fantastic Baby by BigBang:
(the lyric version highlighting the singers)

This one is RingDingDong by SHINee... the music video version which will show you their dance:

And one more that makes me want to dance! Here's Speed with Don't Tease Me. Be sure to watch the move they have at 2:30 in. Sheesh.

But, it's not just kpop that I love to dance to. How about a song from my Zumba life: Suavemente

And I tried to find one I loved to dance to from the pre-kpop days (wow it feels like forever ago, but has only been a few months) and came up with this one. Sadly, it's still a weird song, but such a fun one. I've been to see these guys (Blue Man Group) live and they MAKE you get up and dance during this song, the finale of their show. So much fun!! Anyway, here is just the song (and lyrics) so it can be a good quality version which will hopefully make you want to get up and dance:

So, did you actually listen to any of them? Did they make you want to dance... or not?

What do you like to dance to? Share in a post and come link up over at Bookish Things and More!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How Watching Kdramas Helps My Writing

LOL! I had to post this because I'm watching BOF this very moment,
well, as soon as I hit the publish button!
I'm truly part of the club now!

If nothing else, watching kdramas is reinforcing to me the components of what makes a good story, and what keeps people watching/reading. And that even if tropes and cliches are used, they still work, even if they are used over and over again... they work! So I give you:

Ten Ways Kdramas Will Help With Writing
1. There's always always a sad and tragic back story. Why is this person scared to swim? Or drive? Or drive in the rain? Or why are they so closed off? Or obnoxious? Or why do they not care about living? Why are they so worried about their looks? You can bet there's a story behind it all! And you can bet that we'll get a flashback or a clue some other way. Everyone has a story before the story. It makes characters so much more dynamic and layered.
This back flash incident explains many things.

2. All the characters are facing so many issues. Well of course this is a must or there's no story, right? Seems like characters are often facing unemployment, or bullying, or PTSD, or body image issues, or abandonment issues, or friend troubles.. and on and on and on.

Working off the fat!

3. There's always a symbolic talisman. Sometimes a puzzle piece symbolizes a friendship from the past and it that's lost then, all is lost. Or a random pen chosen from a pile of random pens suddenly defines a whole relationship. Or perhaps a certain flower suddenly embodies all the emotions of the characters. Or a rock picked up on a beach now stands for endurance and consistency.  I love it how writers manage to always fit something like this in and give random things such meanings!

Ah, that flower! It becomes so much more!

4. All the lovely quirky characters. There's always a sidekick friend, or a colleague, or boss, or family member that is a little bit crazy. Usually in a fun comedic relief sort of way. They sure have a way of stealing the scene sometimes and keeping things real.

Crazy characters / scene stealers!

5. Here's to vulnerable sympathetic villains. (Usually.) I mean usually the villain or antagonist gets their sad and tragic back story too and then you're all like, oh... now I get it! Now I understand them! And sometimes the villains are just too dang cool to hate. But also, it's true, sometimes they are awful and you just want to wring their necks!

One of my favorite "cool" villains!

6. That first kiss is a long long long time coming! Ah, the "almost" kisses! So many! Almost... and then bam, interruption. Or bam someone changes their mind, or bam they fall asleep, or fall down, or the rain comes, or they are too drunk... or... or...or... but then finally, just when you can't stand it anymore. It happens! Ah, it's the best... book, movie, TV, drama!

Will they or won't they?

7. And then, once they finally get together then so so many things continue to keep them apart. So now we as viewers/readers are on the edge of our seats again. Will it all be okay? Will everything work out? We kept guessing, even though we are pretty sure it's going to be happy ending. It's the best kind of torture!
And then... an earthquake happens!

8. Hospital scenes are so very cathartic! Wow, what's with the so many hospital scenes?! (Actually I was just watching one last night where they faked a hospital scene and the girl was pouring out her heart and then he opened his eyes and said... "Yes, what do you want to say to me?" I was dying! So...real or not real, hospital scenes bring out ALL THE EMOTIONS and are perfect for causing all the defenses and walls to drop. I better stick some into my stories!

And now, he lets it all out!

9. Chapter/episode cliffhangers are a thing. Want your readers to keep turning pages? Want your watchers to never ever go to bed? Cliffhangers! Even if you don't like them they WORK! I've taken to stopping my drama watching in the middle of episodes instead of the the end because it's pretty much impossible to ever quit otherwise.
In which we have a literal cliffhanger!

10. Happy endings! Is this a spoiler? I hope not, but no matter how bad things get there's almost always a happy ending, and we can all get behind that, can't we!? Yes, yes, we can! Here's to happily ever afters!
And they lived happily ever after!

And that, my friends, is how I'm justifying the kdrama thing for now...I can incorporate it all back into the writing! Agreed?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Book: Winter by Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I remember the day we, a bunch of bloggers and I, got to have a special gathering at the library with an unknown author, Marissa Meyer, who was launching her first book, Cinder. I remember thinking, eh, a Cinderella retelling. Maybe. We'll see. I don't know.

Flash forward a few years and out comes the fourth (or fifth. or sixth...depending on how you look at it) book and this author is now extremely popular and everyone is in love with her characters and this series.

I love it when that happens.

I read the first books reluctantly thinking they would just be the same old same old, but then I was sucked into one of the best retelling worlds I've ever read and absolutely loved it.

This, the final book in the series, was a fabulous, though a bit long, ending to the adventure. All our people are together, finally, trying to stop the evil queen and reclaim her kingdom (aka. the moon.) There are a gazillion ups and downs so much in fact, that I sort of got whiplash, with our characters together, then separated, hurt, then better, lost, then found, captured then escaped. Over and over and over again! But even with that, I was hanging on to every page and turn and event.

I loved that even though the book was long, the chapters were very short, which makes a reader feel like they are totally flying through it! (Still, how long did it take me to read this? Way too long!)

I won't go through the specific things that happen in this book, but just know if you are a fan of this series, I'm pretty sure you'll eat this book right up.

Here's to looking forward to whatever Marissa Meyer has in store for us next!

Bottom Line: Would you love and extremely mash up of fairy tale retellings and genres? Then you MUST read this series!

Other Reviews:

Meyer has really been so incredibly thoughtful in her creation and it truly is a lovely masterpiece of storytelling. From Don't Be Afraid of the Dork

At some point I forgot this series was based on fairytales because of how original Meyer's world building is. Sometimes I would catch glimpses of the original tales and it really shows how a good adaptation can work, especially with Winter's story. From Books and Sensibility

All in all I loved the series. It's easy to overlook some minor annoyances when you love the characters and world the author has created. From Alternate Readality

This series has a wonderful intricate plot and amazing characters! You CAN have both! From Kami's Library Thouhts

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kdrama Review: She Was Pretty

Drama: She Was Pretty
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Starring: Park Seo Joon, Hwang Jung Eum, Choi Siwon, Go Jun Hee
Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

With the review of this drama, I will have caught up with past dramas watched and can now add this link to my new drama page. Yes!

This drama has a soft spot in my heart. It's the one I feel is perfect to start newbies out with, because it has all the aspects that make these dramas so much fun. It's also the drama that started the whole Super Junior craze and the drama that once I was done watching I knew that I for sure had been captured into whatever this thing is... the Korean Wave, the kdrama rabbit hole, the obsession...pick your description. This drama sealed the deal.

So here's the sum up of the story: Our girl is looking for a job, and as she is on the computer, she sees that she has an email from her childhood friend and first love. She is so excited that he's back in Korea after living in New York for years and she makes plans to meet him and get reacquainted.

Well, when she goes and sees him from afar she realizes that he has changed quite a bit. He has gone from a pudgy shy awkward kid to a gorgeous confident businessman. She looks at herself. She has also changed. She has gone from a popular pretty girl to a frumpy skinny unemployed frazzle haired crazy woman. She chickens out in meeting this guy and has her gorgeous friend and roommate fill in and pretend to be her. They think they can pull this off because the friend tells the guy that she is going to study abroad the very next day.

The two roommates

Well. Of course that doesn't work and things get WAY out of hand from there. The biggest problem being that when our girl does get a job, guess who ends up being her boss? Yep. It's him. And he's NASTY! He's a big fat mean jerk and she's all like... what happened to him and why would I want to be his friend???
The crazy boss

Well, of course, she still does and the connection runs deep. But he is, you know, thinking that his childhood friend is her gorgeous roommate. And the gorgeous roommate is all like, wow, this guy is pretty sweet and wow, I think I like him. (She doesn't see his nasty boss side!)


Meanwhile, one of the other guys she works with (aka. Reporter Kim) sees through EVERYTHING and figures it all out and falls in love with her in the meantime. (And again here we go with the second male lead syndrome!)
Siwon as Reporter Kim

Siwon in Super Junior

So complicated!

I love it!

The acting in this one is fun and fabulous. The situations are crazy funny. And heartwarming. And even sad at times. The messages about relationships, all kinds, and finding yourself and your place in the world are awesome. As I said, at first these dramas might seem superficial and silly, but always always, there is a lovely deep thought and message to ponder in the end.

Clips to the theme song of the show:

And here's Siwon himself singing another song from the show with clips that illustrate the second male lead syndrome that I keep talking about:

Anyway, this is a really good one to start with if you want to give a Korean drama a try!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sunday Serenade Spotlight at The Novel Life

Hey everyone! So Stacy from The Novel Life has a fun Sunday feature on her blog called Sunday Serenade where she highlights bloggers every week... and guess who was up for inspection yesterday?

You know you want to click on over and check it out, yes? 

And besides, you never know what you're going to get with me and how I answer questions, so just do it!  I'll be over there waiting to see what you have to say. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Saturday Snapshot and Sing Along... on Sunday

Because of the readathon, I didn't do my "new" Saturday memes yesterday, so here they are together in one post today. Enjoy!

Saturday Snapshot hosted by Melinda from West Metro Mommy Reads

Wow, it's been an eventful week and I took a TON of pictures to document it all. But I will share just this one, a candid of my daughter and son-in-law after college graduation, with their 2 month old baby girl.

What picture or pictures of the week would you like to share? Come and link up!


Saturday Sing Along hosted by Katrina from Bookish Things and More

The theme for our song choice this week: Favorite Soundtrack Song.

Are you kidding me???? This is like pick a favorite kid or something. Or a favorite book! There is not JUST ONE! There are gazillions! But...I have decided to share the one that made me realize, back when I was just a wee little kid, that I totally loved soundtrack music. Like... totally. And so I give you, the Throne Room song from the original Star Wars. It never fails to give me chills.

Do join in the song sharing fun! Link up here!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Readathon April 2016 Updates

Let's Read!

Around five Jenni Elyse joined our readathon party. We tried to read. We really did. But we also did a lot of talking, music listening, and eating some much needed dinner. It was a readathon PARTY... and it was fun.

I did manage to finish Winter, which was my main goal. So in the end, altogether, I read about 450 pages of much drama. What a great series! Love it!

We had several readers join us (my daughter and I) during the day. Her friend came in the morning and then again in the evening. Then Jenni as mentioned above, and then my son and his girlfriend for a couple of hours in the middle of the day. They used the readathon to study for finals. Perfect.

It was a great day. Massively relaxing which is just what I needed. Let's do it again sometime!


Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
Still reading Winter. About 100 pages left.
2. How many books have you read so far?
Yeah, just 100s of pages in Winter.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
It would be nice to give Summerlost a try.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Lots of readers coming and going.  It's like a reading revolving door around here. It's awesome. Other than that, not many inturruptions going on. It's been a very quiet, very chill day. 
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
Um, it seems really quiet. Like around the bloggin and tweeting places. Unless I'm just missing stuff. 

Hour About Nine:

120 more pages read in Winter
A quote shared from my last chapter read: "You can't leave me again. I can't do this without you." Sure you can. It won't be as much fun, but you'll figure it out." 
A book selfie taken:

Snacks dug into:

A nap taken.

And so it goes. Read on!



I've read 100 pages from Winter.
I had breakfast and took a shower.
I wrote a five word #readathon story: Reading books all day long!
I wrote a postcard to Kai: 
       Dear Kai, Cinder and I are so sad you couldn't come with us, but we are having a blast! We even found the perfect song to rock out to, one that reminds Cinder of you so she won't miss you too much. This country is awesome. Thanks for saving it from Levana for us! See you soon!

I had reading buddies for a bit but they left. Maybe they'll come back here in a bit.
I had a hard time keeping my eyes open from the get go, but I think the shower will help!

That's my update. Read on!


Opening Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

The very fine part of Utah USA.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Finishing Winter!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

As always, homemade caramel popcorn!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

My daughter graduated from college yesterday, the same daughter that made me become a grandma two months ago, and... I've been in a reading slump for three months. Maybe that will change today?

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Nothing at all different! I have this gig DOWN!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Readathon Plans

It appears, and I'm still a bit wary, but I truly think we have Saturday free from other obligations and so that means:

So excited! I mean, I've not been that into reading lately, but I'm excited to see if I can get BACK into it by readathon-ing! It's bound to help, right?

Here's my small little stack. Mostly I just want to finish Winter and if that happens, I'll try out one of these others:

We plan to make our traditional carmel popcorn too, hopefully. I have no idea what else we'll be eating, but something. We might have a few friends join us and if so, I'll be sure to document and share!

You too should join the fun! Check out the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon website here for all the details!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kdrama Review: Lie to Me

Note: Before I decided to give into the urge and review the Kdramas I'm watching, I watched two that I skipped reviewing. And now that I've made a page to keep track of these things, I feel the need to go back and review those first two dramas. And so I give you the very first one I watched, the one that pushed me into the Korean Wave and caused the drowning you are seeing now:

Drama: Lie to Me
Genre: Romantic comedy
Staring: Kang Ji Hwan, Yoon Eun Hye
Rating: ❤❤❤❤

Oh man. If there's any story about where something goes wrong and it leads to another thing and another thing and another thing until life is completely messed up, this is it! Crazy!

Our girl is jealous of her friend who actually has ended up marrying the kid she (our girl) had a crush on back in school. It makes her seethe actually. And so, when she is asked by this friend (a very very annoying and fake girl by the way... ugh... I could barley stand her!) how her life is going, she says she is married.

Of course she isn't!

And that friend, due to some interesting chain of events, assumes that our girl is married to the guy, a very eligible bachelor, who the boss of a chain of extremely posh hotels. And then when our girl realizes this, she just goes with it. The lie blossoms to epic proportions.

Well, and so of course, the guy finds out. And then he starts using her. And she of course is using him. At first they pretty much can't stand each other. And then they decide to agree to nicely use each other. And then... well...

But by THAT time, we are DYING for it to happen! And it takes forever!  And all sorts of crazy stuff has to get worked out and it's so much fun and so funny and so happily and sweetly romantic.

It was a great drama to get hooked on. The first few episodes I was like, wow, they really overact a bit, yes? And wow, they are, like whiny and weird and silly. And then after that, I didn't care. Plus, characters seem to be like that in the beginning and then they GROW and change. And suddenly they aren't that way anymore.

It took me a few episodes to get the hang of subtitles, and to get used to hearing Korean and to figure out who is who. (Okay, yes, everyone kinda looked alike back in those beginning days. But, um, I'm over that!)

And I was devastated by my introduction to second male lead syndrome, a thing that these dramas love to torture us with. (And no, this does not mean there is a love triangle, it just means that there is another guy who likes the girl but the girl never notices him. It's heartbreaking!)

But I loved the innocence and I loved how it makes no apologies for the romance being the thing... the whole point of the show. I loved that.

And... by the way, this particular drama, even after having watched a good handful now, still has the best kiss scene I've seen yet! A couple of them actually. Yeah, and I'd love to show you a clip, but then I'd spoil all that tension that leads up to it!


But here's a few other clips and scenes so you can get a feel for what it's like (though all these are romantic scenes and not the funny ones):

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bookmark Monday: Travels

Another meme I'm trying out... Bookmark Monday hosted by Aloi from Guiltless Reading, wherein we post some favorite bookmarks, both those we actually own or those we wish we did!

For my first post I'd like to share a few bookmarks I've collected from places we've visited. I haphazardly buy bookmarks for souvenirs and looking at this pile I wish I'd been more consistent with the endeavor, but at any rate, here's a sampling:

Italy (San Gimignano), Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains,
York and London, England.

Have a bookmark you'd like to share with us? Link up over at Guiltless Reading!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sing Along Saturday... on Sunday: My Theme Song

Here's another "new" meme I plan to have some fun with. This one is hosted by Bookish Things and More and each week they'll be asking us to share a song according to a theme they've thought up.

This week's theme: What song defines you?

Isn't that a loaded question!?! But here's the first song that came to mind for me. Of course it's by Super Junior since that's my current craze. This is the song that, when I watched them sing it live, I decided, dang, I really really love these guys. But more than that, this song defines pretty much how I feel about life these days which is... to take things one day at a time, to face each day with a smile and deal with whatever comes my way, even if I don't quite know where I'm going or where things will lead.

Here's a video of the song with English lyrics included!  Also, I love it because it highlights whoever happens to be singing at the time, which is fun for learning their individual voices. Anyway, I hope you listen!

Walkin' by Super Junior 


Want to share what song defines you? Come and link up over at Bookish Things and More!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saturday Snapshot: A Walk in the Foothills of Timp

I have plans to participate in a couple of new-to-me blogging memes in an effort to shake it up around here. Welcome to the first one: Saturday Snapshot hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. Here are the details:

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Not sure how I'm going to approach this meme but for this first time I thought I'd share with you some pictures from a "walk" we took last weekend. A walk that ended up being more of hike and then getting off the trail and stuck! 

Mt. Timpanogos in the waning sun.

More of a pulled back view of the mountain and the road
we found to walk on.

View of the park way below us.
This is the park were the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival
takes place every Labor Day weekend.

The trail turned to rolling stones.
I was not wearing proper shoes!
But luckily, it didn't last for long.
Do you have some fun pictures to share this week? Head over to West Metro Mommy Reads and link up!

Friday, April 15, 2016

BBC Series Review: And Then There Were None

Series: And Then There Were None
Genre: Mystery Drama
Starring: Maeve Dermody, Charles Nance, Aidan Turner
Rating: Two thumbs up

Jenni Elyse and I watched this one together the other night solely for the Aidan Turner factor. And I would have to say that it was worth it!

This story follows the Agatha Christie mystery book originally titled Ten Little Indians. I'm sure there are many adaptations and there's the play and all sorts of stuff, so this is simply the latest in the line.

It's the story of 8 people who are summoned to a fancy house on an isolated island and they really have no idea why. None of them know the others. Or the guy who summoned them. Or anything. Then there's the two servants and you've got ten confused and nervous people. Nervous especially when one of them suddenly dies.

And then another. And then another. And so on. All following this poem:

Ten little soldier boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were Nine.

Nine little soldier boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were Eight.

Eight little soldier boys travelling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were Seven.

Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.

Six little soldier boys playing with a hive;
A bumble bee stung one and then there were Five.

Five little soldier boys going in for law;
One got into chancery and then there were Four.

Four little soldier boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three.

Three little soldier boys walking in the Zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were Two.

Two little soldier boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was One.

One little soldier boy left all alone;
He went and hanged himself

And then there were None.

—Frank Green, 1869

And as people start figuring it out then they get really nervous and paranoid and start accusing each other. It's awesome!

This version was sufficiently creepy too, which was also awesome. A little gruesome in parts. A little suggestive in parts. But generally all very fun!

And Aidan Turner was great and thankfully, as Jenni said, did not bite the dust too soon! And gave some us great fanservice too. (Korean drama term for...shirtless... basically.)

He continued to have a little problem with that lovely lock of hair, always falling in his eyes.

Bottom Line: You love BBC stuff? You'll love this. You love Aidan Turner? You'll love this.

Here's an extremely short teaser:

But don't take my word for it, let Aidan himself tell you all about it:

Gah, he kills me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Movie Review: Concussion

Movie: Concussion
Genre: Real life drama
Starring: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: One thumb up

Here's the story of a dude from Africa, a really really smart dude, a doctor, who ends up in Pittsburgh I think it is. He starts making a connection between star football players who have died because of depression and suicide and the fact that they've pretty much lost their minds before they kill themselves. He thinks about what concussions do to the brain and he thinks about how pretty much playing football has ruined them and killed them in the end.

He tells people about what he's thinking and you know, the NFL doesn't seem to like it! Yeah, so this is the story of that fight and what ends up happening. Which, I will spoil just a bit here... is not much.

Fascinating story. Still, the movie was a little slow for me and I fought to stay awake. But still, a fascinating story.

Will Smith and the movie director with the real life doctor who's featured in this story.

Bottom Line: Definitely watch if you are into learning history and real life stories and if you enjoy Will Smith no matter what he does.

Here's the trailer:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Kdrama Review: Flower Boy Next Door

Drama: Flower Boy Next Door
Genre: romantic comedy
Staring: Yoon Shi Yoon, Park Shin Hye, Kim Ji Hoon
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

In this adventure we have a girl who works as an editor from home. In fact, she pretty much never goes out. In fact, she has pretty much confined herself to her house due to, we later learn, some hard things she's had to deal with which has caused a fairly severe bout of depression.

One of the things she does to keep occupied is spy on the guy who lives across the way in the other apartment building. She's quite smitten with him. And then one day, when she's spying, another guy shows up in her binoculars and this guy catches her at it! Someone has moved in with her guy and he's determined to call her out!

Turns out this new guy is the other guy's brother and he's come Korea to do some stuff with his famous and popular gaming business. He's name is Enrique and through Korean, he's been living in Spain these past many years becoming a sort of gaming celebrity.

Well, doesn't he just come and upset this girl and her reclusive way of life? Yes he does! And wouldn't you know it but the guy next door to her has been crushing on her for THREE YEARS and has never said anything and now this new guy comes and upsets his hopes and dreams too!

But everyone can't help but love him because... dang, he is one happy boy!

The many faces of Enrique!
(Yoon Shi Yoon)

And now this reclusive girl is suddenly surrounded by flower boys (a Korean term for pretty boy) all wanting her! How does this happen?

All the flower boys in one shot!

Well. And so, let the crazy begin. So many subplots and love triangles/squares/pentagons! How will it all work out??

I was expecting a very silly lighthearted romance with this one, but in fact it dealt with a bunch of deep issues, as all these dramas seem to do. And had lots of profound things to say about love, life and friendship. Sometimes the dialogue blows me away with its deep thinking thoughts. Enrique especially, silly though he is, has a way of looking at life through awesome analogies and his love for life is contagious.

My only complaint about this one was that it felt like it took for freaking forever for everyone to work things out and then BAM it's all worked out in the last episode!

Working things out, finally!

Also, most dramas have this thing called the second leading man syndrome and usually (always?) this guy does not get the girl and is left with an achy breaky heart. Sometimes I can deal with it and sometimes it kills me. This time, it killed me. Ah, the angst! The agony! Please give the second guy a happy ending sometimes! Ah!!!

The sad second male lead.
(Kim Ji Hoon)
Bottom Line: Yep. Another fun one!
Swoon Factor: For me, not as high as some of the others. I would say this is high in cuteness, but not so much swooniness.

Here's a feel for what this one is like, a fan made video with funky  music and lots of crazy clips of Enrique:

And here's another one set to one of the songs sung by none other than Enrique (Yoon Shi Yoon) himself. Swoon.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Celebrating Diverse Music and Small Life Events

Remember that one time three months ago to the day when I clicked on a link and listened to a song? And then I clicked on another link and listened to anther song? And then I looked up a music video on YouTube? Remember that?

And then remember how my life seems to have taken a strange and unexpected turn since then?

There is no going back.

I will be forever changed.

In a good way.

Don't you love it when that happens? I'm assuming this sort of things happens to you now and then. I'm not talking about the big things, because we all know that happens. I'm talking about the strange little unexpected trivial things that seems so small at the moment but then turns out to be things that make life interesting and different and much much less mundane. Things that send you down a path you totally would have never found normally. Things that make you wonder what else is out there to be discovered? What other fun things might we be missing?

Do you ever do this? Do you ponder these things? Are you happy and grateful for these unexpected changes and turns that come your way?

I am.

And I love it.

Embrace the strange and unusual paths.

Because you really just never know what you might find.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Book: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

So I thought I'd try the "list reasons" method of talking about books, (see the two previous reviews) but it actually was more stressful for me than just spitting out random words, so I'm back to the spitting method. Okay, cool?

As we all know, (most of us anyway) this is the third and last book in a well loved and well consumed series. It's a sort of Romeo and Juliet story where we have a boy and a girl from opposing kingdoms that go and find themselves in love. In the second book, in order to help her boy, our girl is spying on her own people and doing all sorts of crazy things.. things that our boy does not know about and in fact he thinks she is betraying him instead of helping him. So ends that book with them all apart and mad and not knowing what's going on.

So this third book opens with this sad state of affairs. Our girl is in prison and our boy doesn't know it, in fact he thinks she has run off to marry the prince and is on her honeymoon. But then... BUT THEN... he finds out and that's when things get good again! Only, things are still bad and they must now fight a war together. And it's actually quite scary and nail-biting and all that. And they both have so many issues! SO MANY! And all those issues must be cleared up and solved.

But it's so good. And awesome. And fulfilled all my hopes and dreams. Which statement is probably in and of itself a spoiler, but there you go. I was happy with this book and this ending. Thank goodness.

Bottom Line: Read this book. Read this series. Don't be afraid of the love and buzz. Just believe it. Seriously, I want to write like this. This... my target to aim for.

Other Reviews:

The Winner’s Kiss really stepped up for the finale, and as you can tell from this vague and rambling review, I loved it but I really don’t want to give anything away. You need to go in knowing nothing and then get your hearts broken and your shipping mentality ready again. From So Many Books, So Little Time

I'm also a huge sucker for romances in which the couple completely misunderstands and misjudges each other, and then finally realizes how completely wrong and stubborn they've been. The Winner's Kiss is all about that good stuff. From YA Romantics

There is so much I want to say about this book. I just. I cannot. I loved it the most. The romance. Perfection. So much swoon. The friendships. So precious. From Carina's Books

THE WINNER’S KISS was my favorite of the series and I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed by this conclusion. It was positively stunning, epic, and satisfying. From The Book Addict's Guide

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spring Break in Red Rock Country Utah

For spring break weekend, we went on a rare camping adventure with extended family down to southern Utah were the rocks are red and the air is warm. Here are a few pictures of the highlights.

Sunset in the desert

The setting sun colors the rocks even redder. It's awesome.

The view on our drive through Grand Staircase Monument

Nephews and Grandpa

There is still snow at Bryce Canyon!

The iconic Bryce Canyon shot!

Another from Bryce Canyon

Shakespeare's Arch in Kodachrome State Park

Finding a geocache.

Pondering the view on our hike/walk

The whole crowd at Chimney Rock in Kodachrome State Park.
The sky killed me that day.

My view as I lay reading in the trailer.

The view from the campground as night descends.

The road into the campground.


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