Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend recap

This was easily the best weekend of the summer…so far. Friday, my mom took Geof and I out to The Melting Pot to celebrate our birthdays. We had a great server who really hooked us up on the cheese and chocolate courses. Everything was delicious and we had a really nice time.

Painted my nails with OPI's Flit A Bit

Dinner at The Melting Pot

Saturday, Geof and I got up bright and early and headed to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. It was in the mid 80’s and perfect water park weather. We went slipping and sliding, jumped waves and floated along the lazy river all day long. Exhaustion set in around 6. We got a quick bite at McDonald’s (which from the heat and running around all day tasted like the best Mickey D’s I ever had in my life) and then made our way back to PA.

Lazy River at Hurricane Harbor

Another pretty summer sunset

Sunday, we spent the afternoon at the pool. The weather was hot and the pool was cool, just how I like it. Later in the night, Geof went out with one of his buddies and my mom and I went to Target.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Murderer’s Daughters

This is a book that I bought on a whim while browsing around Target. I saw that it had the Target Book Club seal, so I figured it had to be pretty decent. This is the first book I’ve ever purchased blindly without reading any reviews and I’m going to have to do it more often, because this book was very good and it pleasantly surprised me.

Review from Target:

The Murderer’s Daughters follows two sisters, Merry and Lulu, left on their own after their father murders their mother, and how the tragedy that changed their lives in an instant haunts each of them distinctly and profoundly as they make their way in the world together. Lulu and Merry's childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu's tenth birthday their father drives them into a nightmare. He's always hungered for the love of the girls’ self-obsessed mother; after she throws him out, their troubles turn deadly. Lulu had been warned to never to let her father in, but when he shows up drunk, he's impossible to ignore. He bullies his way past Lulu, who then listens in horror as her parents struggle. She runs for help, but discovers upon her return that he's murdered her mother, stabbed her five-year-old sister, and tried, unsuccessfully, to kill himself. Lulu and Merry are effectively orphaned by their mother’s death and father’s imprisonment, but the girls’ relatives refuse to care for them and abandon them to a terrifying group home. Even as they plot to be taken in by a well-to-do family, they come to learn they’ll never really belong anywhere or to anyone—that all they have to hold onto is each other. For thirty years, the sisters try to make sense of what happened. Their imprisoned father is a specter in both their lives, shadowing every choice they make. One spends her life pretending he's dead, while the other feels compelled, by fear, by duty, to keep him close. Both dread the day his attempts to win parole may meet success. A beautifully written, compulsively readable debut, The Murderer's Daughters is a testament to the power of family and the ties that bind us together and tear us apart.

The book wasn’t one of the happier stories that I’ve read, but it was so honest. The author did a wonderful job of telling the story from Merry and Lulu’s perspectives. It was broken into parts and showed the progression through their lives of coming to terms with the untimely death of their mother and having an incarcerated father.

Book in a nutshell: Great book that makes you appreciate the family you have!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend recap

Friday was spent at home working most of the night so that I didn’t have to do it later on in the weekend. I watched Dateline and that was about as exciting as it got.

Saturday, Geof and I went down to Delaware and did a little shopping at the Christiana Mall. We had dinner at Don Pablo’s and then headed towards home. We made a stop at a park down by the river to catch the sunset and just stare out at the river for awhile.

Us down by the river

Sunset on the river

Sunday, I slept in gloriously late and we went to the pool for the remainder of the afternoon and early evening. This was the first time we broke out our new beach chairs and they are the best thing since sliced bread. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. Once we got home, Geof decided to grill indoors on the Foreman and make some delicious burgers. We had those while getting caught up on True Blood.

Friday, July 8, 2011

{mid} Summer Bucket List

It’s hard to believe that we’re already into July. Summer is flying by and I need to hang on tight before it’s gone. With that said, I wanted to make some goals for myself and fun ones at that. Most of the time we’re always setting goals to better this and improve that (which is great, don’t get me wrong), but sometimes we need to just let go and have a little fun. Isn’t that what summer is all about?

Here is what I intend to do before Labor Day weekend:

Amusement park

Water park

Read more

Watch a sunset or two

Wine tasting

Beach day

I’ll let you know how it all works out!

Is there anything you have your heart set on doing before the end of summer?

Images via weheartit

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Coupon Chief Review

You know that I’m all about saving money these days and when there are deals to be had, I go after them. When it comes to shopping online, the rule is to never make a purchase unless I can find a coupon code for a discount or at least free shipping.

This is where Coupon Chief comes in. It’s a huge database of coupons that can be used for all different kinds of online retailers ranging from clothing to electronics to home goods to even baby products. Another plus that differentiates it from other coupon sites is, that once a coupon expires, it is removed from the site so you aren't left filtering through a bunch of invalid codes. Users are also invited to comment, rate and validate coupons. Coupons can also easily be shared with friends via quick links to social networking outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as e-mail.

My favorite part of the site is the option to register for their “Pays-2-Share” program, which offers participants monetary incentives to upload coupons and compensate them when they are used. Every time someone uses a coupon you've uploaded, Coupon Chief will give you 2% of the sales, which can be paid out via a check or PayPal. You can’t get any more convenient than that!
For all the latest information, you can stay up to date by “liking” their Facebook page.

FTC: I was compensated to write an honest review regarding

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekend recap

As you know, Friday was a bad day and I won’t get into that again. Thank you to everyone that left me a sweet comment on my post. It made me feel much better.

Saturday, we worked around the house and ran errands. I had baked cupcakes for Geof’s birthday on Thursday and we celebrated in the evening with those and some homemade tacos. I also managed to paint my nails later in the evening.

Geof's birthday cupcakes!

Wet n Wild's Wave of Enchantment

Sunday, Geof and I had a date day and went to see Transformers 3 in 3D but not before a quick stop at Ulta (I couldn’t resist). The movie was definitely more of dude flick and not for me. I’ll give credit for the special effects, but it was way too long at almost 2.5 hours.

After the movies, we went to McKenzie’s Brew House for dinner. We’d never been there before and it was a great choice because the food was delicious. We had a Fontina Fondue for an appetizer and Geof got one of the McKenzie Wit beers they brew in-house. For dinner, Geof got a deal that couldn’t be beat. He got his beer, a salad, filet mignon crowned with beer battered onion rings and a baked potato for $20. I know what I’m getting next time! I was boring and got meatloaf, but it was so good. Comfort food like that soothes the soul.

Gorgeous summer sunset

McKenzie's Brew House

Monday was spent relaxing around the house and I unfortunately had work that needed to be done, so it was a very quiet 4th. The most excitement was watching Sara Bareilles play at the Philadelphia Welcome America Celebration. As much as I want to go down there and see the talent live each year, it’s not worth it and I’d much rather just watch from my living room in HD.

I hope you all had a fun, long weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Goodbye, my friend

Today was bittersweet. It was time to say goodbye to my/my mom’s sweet dog, Happy. He was a source of stability in my life for the past 13+ years. No matter how much things had changed, I always knew I could count on him to make me feel better. When I lived at home he was my best buddy and slept in my room every single night. He was the most loving, well-behaved dog and a perfect gentleman.

I’ve lost animals throughout my life but nothing has ever stung this hard. The decision was made late this evening and we all went to the vet together. He was too good of a dog to continue suffering and being in pain. It was a horrible feeling and I don’t think you can ever truly prepare yourself for goodbye. We were all in the room as he slipped away and it’s something I never wanted to face. I looked into his eyes and kept kissing his precious head. I didn’t want him to feel alone for even one second.

I know he’s already running around in doggy heaven and that gives me peace.