Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sex and the City... and a d-bag alert

I cannot imagine that any of us will be purchasing this gem, Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs, due out this fall.

On to more exciting things, the creator of Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell, is coming out with her second novel chronicling the teenage years of Carrie Bradshaw.  It's entitled Summer and the City, taking us through Carrie's first experience in the Big Apple where she meets up with her cousin, Samantha and new friend Miranda.  This is supposedly a teenage book, but it won't stop me from eventually reading it :). 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cat & Mouse by James Patterson

I knew you wouldn't let me down Alex Cross! (Of course, I owe this all to Katie....)

I never thought I'd like murder mysteries.  Then I met Alex, fell in love, and the rest is history!

First, you must read the series in order (in my opinion) to get all of the back stories that end up permeating throughout each book.  I mean, Jimmy does do a great job of summing them up everytime a prior book's storyline is referenced, but they're such page turners you should just go ahead and read them all.

Now, on to Cat & Mouse.  This is a continuation of Along Came a Spider, and the 4th book in the Cross Series.  Alex is faced with hunting down former villain, Gary Soneji.  Almost all of the book takes place in Washington, DC with a few trips to places like NYC, Princeton, Boston and even Europe.  Of course, there is always a twist with Cross novels, always!  As usual, Patterson keeps the chapters short and sweet, but the page turning remains addicting.  Now, go ahead, go figure out who did it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

M.orr Than a Bag

A friend of mine from the Motherland recently started her own business making these cute, custom photo bags. The name of her business is a sweet spin-off of her name: M.orr Than a Bag. I've known Megan since I was in high school, and I got to know her a little better as we worked together at the locally owned drugstore. Megan is a wonderful young lady - very intelligent, thoughtful, and an all-around nice person.

one of her latest creations (photo inserts on left side)

She is also a proud military wife and mother of two. Her husband, also my childhood neighbor, is a member of the United States Navy. Megan talks about the inspiration behind her bags on her website:

I am a proud Navy wife and mother of the two most amazing babies, Noah and Avery. We recently moved to New York as my husband is now a recruiter in Oswego. Since he joined the Navy in 2006, we have moved four times. While we do enjoy change and seeing new places, the military has made it difficult for me to reach some of my own goals.

I recently realized that I needed to stop adapting my dreams to fit his schedule and that, perhaps, the plans I had for myself hadn't worked out because I was going in the wrong direction. As much as I love being at home with my kids, I wanted to find something new that I could accomplish for myself.

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I love taking pictures, but I also love showing them off, and that's what led to the idea of photo bags. I picked out some cute fabric and just started experimenting. With each bag I make, I learn something new. I love each one more than the last, and I would love for the next bag I make to be yours!

If you're looking for a unique gift for someone special (birthday, mother's day, baby shower, etc), or even just yourself, please stop by her site, 'Like' her on Facebook (M.orr Than a Bag) and have a look around! She works with you on fabric choices and add on's.  She also offers a 10% discount to all members of the military & their spouses!

*Megan has no idea that I just promoted her on my blog - this was my own doing to try to get her business some publicity.*

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oh How I Love My Tea!

Yesterday I read about a recent "scandal" involving Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson.  I was so shocked to be reading what I was reading - that this book was all a lie?!  I absolutely loved this book! 

(If you've never read the book and are interested in what it's about, please check out my post here.)

In a very big summation of several articles and the video, CBS/60 Minutes is alleging that a lot of what Mortenson says in his book is untrue and/or highly exaggerated.  For example, CBS claims he never got lost on his hike up K2  (which is what ultimately lead him to writing the book) and that he subsequently never built the schools, or at least not as many schools as he claimed to have built.  CBS also managed to interview some people who appeared in photos in his book.  One such photo was a picture of "Taliban" men who captured him and held him hostage for several days.  When CBS asked one of the men in that photo if he was a member of the Taliban, he denied it.  (Though, wouldn't you deny if it you were a member of a highly controversial organization?  Just sayin'!) Also, CBS, in conjunction with the American Institute of Philanthropy, closely scrutinized the Central Asia Institute's financial statements and deduced that much of the money raised for the building of schools in the Middle East had been used to fund Mortenson's travels within the U.S. in order to promote his book and raise additional funds for CAI.  You can find the full report/video on 60 Minutes.

Yesterday, I also received an email from Greg Mortenson talking about this breaking news on his popular book.  (I get emails from him because I donated to his organization, the Central Asia Institute). Here is some of what he said:

"The Board of Directors and I made the very difficult decision to not engage with "60 Minutes" on camera, after they attempted an eleventh hour aggressive approach to reach me, including an ambush in front of children at a book signing at a community service leadership convention in Atlanta. It was clear that the program's disrespectful approach would not result in a fair, balanced or objective representation of our work, my books or our vital mission. We also turned down a last minute request for an interview with Jon Krakauer.

     The "60 Minutes" program may appear to ask simple questions, but the answers are often complex, not easily encapsulated in 10-second sound bites."
Greg later went on to say that he is currently suffering from a hole in his heart, and is about to undergo surgery, and this also contributed to his reason for not speaking on camera.

While CBS does make some compelling arguments, I don't want to believe them.  In regard to the amount of money spent on travel expenditures for raising money for CAI, and how more money was spent doing that than building schools, I think it's somewhat justifiable.  "You have to spend money to make money".  You have to spend money to promote this organization (CAI) and awareness of what it does in order to raise money in order to build these schools.  Also, it says in the book numerous times, which I'm sure is very true, that the cost of building a school over there is FAR less than what it would be to build a school in the U.S.

What do you think about all of this?  Do you think Greg is fudging the numbers for his own benefit, or do you think that this could be a case of jealousy - haters of Greg and his mission and being jealous/angry/some-other-emotion about his success and is trying to take him down?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Crazy Cat

My cat is a lunatic.  Just look at how Joel found him this morning...

"This is the life, man."
Still, he's hard not to love!  Happy Tuesday!  Two days in a row of 365 Project posts!  I'd love to get back on track!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Springtime is Here!

Thursday I took this picture as I was leaving work.... how beautiful are these flowers?  I love springtime!

Then when I got home I took these from our backyard... just wild daffodils popping up everywhere!


All taken with my measly 5 MP Blackberry Camera!

I'm now 36% through Cat & Mouse.  Like all Alex Cross books, this one is a page turner.  But while I'm not reading, working, or signing up for 5K's like a maniac, I can be found diligently working my way through Lego's Indiana Jones with Joel - all of those games are SO addictive!  Enjoy the work week!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hungry Girl Cooking: Eggamuffin 101

When my friend Katie first introduced me to the book/movie Julie & Julia, I thought "what a brilliant idea!" - cooking your way through an entire cookbook, why didn't I think of that!  Since that book/movie first came out, Katie and I have been throwing around the idea ourselves.  I don't intend to become the next "Julie", but I do have a TON of cookbooks that I'd like to get through, and so this past week I made the decision to get started cooking my way through them.  The first book I'll be using is Lisa Lillien's 1st cookbook - Hungry Girl.  While I've already made several dishes out of this fun book, there are still a plethora of them waiting to be chopped, blended, measured and baked!  Still, I'm only planning on making the recipes that I'll actually eat - Lord knows I'm p-i-c-k-y!

Courtesy of here.

My focus this week was on breakfast and dinner.  While one does not really need a recipe to make this breakfast item, it was in the cookbook and alas, I made it.  If you're not familiar with Lisa's technique, she basically finds ways to help you enjoy your favorite foods that are typically high in calories/fat/whatever.  Her spin on the below breakfast sandwich is a variation of the Egg McMuffin from McDonald's.  I'm giving you the exact recipe, but I've told you how I made it my own also.

EggaMuffin 101 - 6 PointsPlus
- 1 regular size Thomas' Light Multi Grain English Muffin
- 1 slice Kraft Free fat free American cheese - I used 1/8 cup of 2% shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 slice Healthy Choice Smoked Ham (or other lean, thin-sliced ham) - I used 2 slices of Butterball Turkey Bacon
- 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters

Cook the Egg Beaters in a pan using non-stick cooking spray and toast your english muffin. Once toasted, place the cheese on the bottom half of the bread, followed by the egg, a slice of ham (or bacon), and the top of the muffin. Enjoy!

My work-week breakfast!
A special thanks to Katie for introducing me to this whole idea!  It has helped motivate me to get through all of my cookbooks!

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