Friday, April 17, 2015

Nicholas Sparks Books VS Movies!

The newest Nicholas Sparks Book to be turned into a Move is The Longest Ride. (In Theaters now) I had read this Book last year after My Husband, who knows I like Nicholas Sparks, bought it for me as a Gift. So of course I made him go see the Movie with me when it came out! Like all Nicholas Sparks Movies, it was good.

Another of his Books, which I also read last year, that was turned into a Movie that came out in October is The Best Of Me. A really good Book & a good Movie as well! In fact pretty much all of Nicholas Sparks Books / Movies are good. He seams to have found the Formula for "Chick Lit" & "Chick Flicks"!!

Of the picture below, I have read all these Books & have seen all these Movies!! And I've loved them all! The Books are always better! All though, in the case of The Notebook, with the visual mastery (& just the clothes & shoes alone) make the Movie pretty hard to beat. And like The Notebook, The Longest Ride, with it's flashbacks to another era has some amazing clothes as well!

If you were to ask me my Favorite, that would be hard to pick from the Movies. I really do like them all, but I'd say Message In A Bottle, The Notebook and The Best Of Me are my Favorites among his Movies! As far as my Favorite of his Books? That ones easy. Safe Haven! I feel it is his best written Book of all of them! It is so good!

Are you a Nicholas Sparks fan? Do you read the Books, or just wait for the Movie? Or like me, do you do both?! And I love to know what are your Favorites among them?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Merry Easter!

My Daughter was wondering why we always say "Merry Christmas", but "Happy" in front of Easter and Birthday?! So, we decided we'd start saying "Merry Easter!" :) So we Hope you and yours had a wonderful and very Merry Easter! We did even though it was pretty laid back this year. We had planned on having my Niece and her family, but she ended up having to work. We were also gonna have our best friends over, but their daughter got sick, poor thing, there's nothing worse than being sick on a Holiday! But we were able to have a good time anyway!

 How about some Eggs for Breakfast on Easter Morning! :) 
My Favorite!
Thank you Easter Bunny!

 Our Church had 3 Services on Easter instead of our usual 2! 
My girls worked in the Nursery's during the first two, then we attended the third. 
While John and the entire band Rocked all three!

 Looking good in our Sunday best! 

 My oldest Son & Daughter in Law also joined us,
after he played drums at another Church! 
While Zach played Guitar at his Church as well!
(Guess being musicians is in their blood!) :)
And they brought their new Dachshund Puppy to play with our two little dogs! :0

 The Beautiful Easter Lilly from our Church made a perfect center piece for our Easter table! 
We kept the menu simple this year by ordering Pizza,
we also served Salad, Deviled Eggs, Pasta Salad, with Cheese & Crackers.

 And of course lot's of Easter Candy! :)
And my girls made Cup Cakes & Brownies!

Kyle brought over his Corn Hole game, which is always a lot of fun!
Here is Erica & Kyle

 Playing with John & Zach

 Katie was on my team! 

Yes, I even tried my hand at Corn Hole! 

 And Lexi getting in on the fun too! 

 But I'd rather just watch the others play! :)

 A couple of us even got in a little nap! ;)

We played a hilarious game of Loaded Questions! 

I just don't understand why nobody else finds us as funny as we do! Haha!

We Hope you had a fun filled & Blessed Day as well!
And a Very Merry Easter!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Is In The Air!

Yes, it's that time of year again!
One of my Daughters' & I's favorite things to do in Arizona is The Arizona Aloha Festival!
It happens every Spring at Tempe Beach Park.
It is the largest Hula Festival outside of Hawaii!

 My Girls got Henna Tattoos!
They are so cute!
And though they have faded now, they are even still visible!

 There are all kinds of booths to shop at.
I like to pick up these beautiful Steering Wheel Covers
Just $5.00!
This way I can continue to Live Aloha all year long, 
and they will save your hands from the Arizona Heat!

We go every year to see our Friends Dance!
You will see people of all ages dancing the Beautiful Hula!
All Polynesian Cultures are represented!
There is so much to do, you can eat, shop, dance,
and there are hands on activities for the kids!

 And you can't leave before having some Hawaiian Shaved Ice!
So Cool & Yummy!
If you've never been before & you live in the Greater Phoenix area
make it a point to go next year! 
It is one of the best Festivals you will ever attend! 
You can follow the Arizona Aloha Festival on Facebook or at their Website! 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lean In

I just finished a really great Book, a Book that I feel every Woman should read! It's Lean In by: Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Facebook. It's so good! It's about how Women can, and should, Lean In in their careers, and in their lives. And how we as Women should be helping & supporting other Women, not fighting against them. The Mommy Wars have to stop!

 "A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our companies and countries,
and men ran half our homes."

"Not all women want careers. Not all women want children. Not all women want both.
We each have to chart our own unique course 
and define which goals fit our lives, values and drams."

"As more women lean in to their careers more men need to lean in to their families."
"Research supports that equality between partners leads to happier relationships.
When husbands do more housework, wives are less depressed, 
marital conflicts decrease, and satisfaction rises.
When women work outside the home and share breadwinning duties,
couples are more likely to stay together.
In fact, the risk of divorce reduces to about half when a wife earns half the income
and a husband does half the housework."

"The more women help one another, 
the more we help ourselves."

Feminism wasn't supposed to make us feel guilty, 
or prod us into constant competitions over who is raising children better, 
organizing more cooperative marriages, or getting less sleep. 
It was supposed to make us free-to give us not only choices 
but the ability to make these choices 
without constantly feeling that we'd somehow gotten it wrong."

"We can do this-for ourselves, for one another, for our daughters, and for our sons.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Thoughts On 50 Shades Of Grey

You know me, I Love just about anything that makes people want to read! When the 50 Shades Of Grey Books came out, I knew right away they were not my kind of Books. I knew a lot of people who read them and loved them! I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "You have to read 50 Shades!" But, I know Books, and I know my taste in them. I did my research and I knew they were not for me!

Here is my main reason; I have two teen aged Daughters (and two young adult Sons, for that matter) and I have raised them all to understand that it is Never, Under Any Circumstance, alright for a man to hit a woman! Least of all being, for some twisted form of sexual gratification!

Though I have not read the books, I have read summaries, excerpts, and Book Reviews (both good & bad) And to be honest with you, I just don't understand how so many women and mothers think this is okay. I get that its fantasy, but this idea that all women really want is to be controlled, is absurd! Ask any woman living in a shelter, what it really feels like to be controlled, the reality is not romantic in the least!

I'm all about Girl Power! Not giving that Power away to anyone!

I can sum up my thoughts on 50 Shades Of Grey in Six Words:

Violence Against Women Is Not Sexy!

Real men Love & Cherish the woman they love! And That is Sexy!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Give Me Five: 5 Of The Many Things I've Learned From Parenthood!

I have always loved a great Family Drama! It started way back with Family; now I was never a tomboy, but I wanted to be Kristy Mcnichol! :)

Then along came Eight Is Enough! I'm one of seven children, so I could relate to the large family, even though my family was the opposite with 5 boys & 2 girls, they had 5 girls & 3 boys. Yikes!

There have been so many great Family Dramas over the years like Sisters, The Cosby Show, The Walton's, and Little House On The Prairie just to name just a few! And though I've loved them all and they've each been great in their own right, none has been as great as Parenthood! The best show on Television aired it's last episode last night, leaving a huge void on Thursday Nights! I can only hope this is not the end of an era, and that new family dramas will rise to take it's place.

I hope you've been watching (and learning) right along with me. One of the greatest parts of great family dramas, is that they will make you think, and hopefully discuss issues they bring up! Here are just a few of the many things I've learned from watching every season & episode of Parenthood;

1. You need Family! 
They can help you get through the difficulties of life, 
as well as celebrate all the great things that happen!
Look to them, Rely on them!
Be there for them!
Show up for them & let them show up for you!

2. Don't be afraid to Talk! 
Even about the tough subjects! 
And don't be afraid to listen! Understanding begins with hearing. 

Here are just some of the Subjects broached on Parenthood: 

Children with Special Needs
Teen Angst
Teen Sex/Pregnancy
School Choice 
Going away to College
Single Parenthood
Substance Abuse
Unwanted/Surprise Pregnancy
Starting/Building a Business
Community Service/Politics
Chasing your Dreams
Mid life Crisis
Aging Parents
Just to name a few of the great conversation starters!

3. We all need Forgiveness!
 In any relationship, no matter how close,
there will come a time when you'll need to be forgiven.
There will also be times when you will need to Forgive.
Neither is easy.
Both are necessary!
We will be hurt. 
It's up to us weather we hold on to that hurt,
or let it go. 

4. Family Traditions are Important! 
or Let your kids Trick or Treat/Believe in Santa as long as they want to! :)
Family Traditions are the best! The big & the small! 
Holiday's, Game Nights, Whatever you want them to be,
Make them. Keep them! 
No matter the size of your family or the age of your kids!

5. Always Keep Learning & Growing! 
You're Never too old to reinvent yourself!
On Parenthood many of the characters started new chapters in their lives, 
weather that was starting a new business or job, or taking up a hobby.
You're never too old/young/anything to try something new!
Try it and see where it leads you!

Well, there you have it, just a sampling of the things I gained from watching this amazing show that ended much too soon if you ask me. Even though I cried during each episode, I can't wait to get the entire series on DVD when it becomes available. (It's only January and I've already asked for it for Christmas!) :) And the most important lesson we can learn is this, life is short & uncertain, so:

 Cherish Your Family! 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

50 And Fabulous!

 The Day:
The Sweatshirt I wore on my Birthday!
My son asked if I got 2 of them to equal 50! :)

Yes, it's true! I turned the Big Five Oh on Christmas day! I know! I can't believe it either! How could that have happened? Leading up to my Birthday & even the night before, I was pretty down. I mean 50 is Old! Aging made me sad. But then I woke up on my Birthday & realized not everyone makes it to 50. My only Sister passed away 13 years ago at the much too young age of 49. She was 13 years older than me. Getting older is a Privilege, not everyone gets. So I felt Blessed. We should celebrate aging and milestone Birthdays! So that's what we did!

The Party:
Five Oh!
 My Outfit!
A DVF inspired Jumper from New York & Co.!
Love it!

 You've got to have pictures throughout the years!

The Party was held in an Italian Restaurant
where guests could order from the full menu! 
We had a Private Room


Some Great Friends!
My Beautiful Niece! 
More Friends! 
More Family!

For Party Favors we gave out bags of Hershey's Kisses
that said; Thank you so much for coming
and helping Star kiss her 40's goodbye! :)

And since reading is among my Favorite things,
Bookmarks about 1964 being a Great Year!

Photo Booth Fun:
My Dapper Son & Darling Daughter in law!

The Spice Girls! :)

 Looking Good!
We still got it!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Oh Brother!
Sister, Sister!!

My Man, his Brother & Sister & their Mom! :)

There is a Fountain of Youth:
it is your mind, your talents, 
the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.
When you learn to tap this source,
you will truly have defeated age.
(Sophia Loren)