September reading list

Sep 30, 2011
Hi. My name is Jenny. (Hi Jenny) I am a book-aholic. I love to read!  Escaping to a different world does my heart good.  I am one of those people that will sit up to 2, 3 or 4 in the morning reading.  When I was in school I wouldn't let myself read non-textbook books, since I knew I would easily put school on the back burner.  Yes, I am that person.

This month I borrowed a few books from a friend and really enjoyed all of them.  Here was my September reading list:

Story about a man named Jacob, who finds himself joining the circus after his parents die.  Things seem to be going well for him, until he begins to fall in love with Marlena the enchanting equestrian performer.  This is a problem since she is married. 
The author, Sara Gruen, tells the story going back and forth between his past at the circus and where he finds himself in the present at a nursing home.  The character Jacob has a lot of fight in him for being ninety something and therefore makes the portions about his present just as interesting to read as his past. 
The book was an easy read that I found hard to put down.  There are a few raunchy parts, but overall pretty clean. 

Set in France, this story also jumps between the past and present.  The past being 1942, the middle of WWII.  Sarah's family is Jewish and we join them on the very night the French police come to their house to take them away.  Sarah's 4year old brother hides from the police in their favorite hiding place, a cabinet with a hidden lock.  Sarah pockets the key, promising to return shortly for her brother.  We jump 60 years later, to the the anniversary of this Jewish round-up called the Vel d’Hiv.  Julia is an American journalist living in Paris who is assigned to tell the story of this tragic event.  During her research she discovers that her husband's grandparents moved into the apartment that Sarah and her family were taken from.  Julia begins to uncover family secrets that stir up a wide range of emotions.
Be prepared to cry.  This book takes the reader on an emotional journey with both Sarah and Julia. Another book that was hard to put down.

What if imaginary friends, weren't imaginary?  What if they are only seen by the people that need them?  Cecelia Ahern explores the world of the imaginary friend, Ivan.  We meet up with Ivan as he is leaving his latest best friend and on the lookout for his new best friend.  When he finds Luke, Ivan is soon captivated by the boy's aunt Elizabeth.  She can't see him of course, at least not at first.  This is a new experience for Ivan that an adult can see him!  He helps Elizabeth see what she is missing in life and how to fill the voids with the people that love her.
A well written book that asks the reader to remember what it was like to imagine and pretend.  Ahhhh....good book.

 This book will make you: cry, want to throw up and yell.  This is the true story of a little boy growing up in the 70's in California, who was horrifically mentally and physically abused by his mother.  I can't even begin to tell you all the terrible things that he went through.  Absolutely terrible. With help from teachers, the school nurse and the principal, David was finally able to be free from the abusive environment.  This book will inspire you to keep going through the tough times, and to love on kids.  It taught me to remember that even if the parents seem to have it together or are important people in the community, doesn't mean they aren't capable of abuse their children
Every educator and parent should read this book.  It's not very long; I finished it in an afternoon.  Definitely had to take a break from the intensity every once in a while though. 

So there are the books I have read in the last couple of weeks.  Go to the library and pick one of these up.  You won't be sorry.  I promise.

Quote of the week

Sep 28, 2011
Not sure if you've noticed, but I added a little "Quote of the week" section thing on the side bar. Right there------> 

These are little things that I have found on Pinterest (thanks again Lazy Mom for getting me hooked on that one) that I want to share with all of you. 

This week's quote was picked for two reasons.

First: This past Sunday I participated (next year I am totally running) in the Race for the Cure.  So the whole pink thing made me think of the Race and the fight against breast cancer. 

Second: It is a great reminder to all the girls out there that may be in a relationship where they aren't being treated right, that they deserve better.  It makes me sad hearing stories from friends about ladies they know that are in some sort of abusive relationship. 

If that is you, get out NOW!!!  You. deserve. better.  Personally I would rather not be in a relationship at all than be in one where I am not being treated right. 

For all those guys out there that ARE treating girls right, kuddos to you.  Keep it up.  And make sure that you, too, are being treated with the respect that you deserve as a person.

If you know someone in a crappy relationship, speak up.  Get them the help they need. 
Kind of a random post, but for some reason I felt it needed to be said. 

So true...

Sep 24, 2011
I like to think that I'm not a complicated woman.  I say what I'm thinking (which isn't always good).  I try not to say one thing, but mean another.  The other day I went to my sister's house, and she had a list of sayings on her fridge that women say and their translation.  This was too funny and too true not to share. I have no idea where this came from, but someone out there is genius.

This is really for the man in your life....

1. Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.  (Guilty of this one)

2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half hour. (That's me too.) Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm.  This means something, and you should be on your toes.  Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4. Go ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it!

5. Loud sigh: Although not actually a word, it is still a statement often misunderstood by men.  A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot, and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing.  (see #3 for definition of nothing)

6. That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man.  That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7. Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question or faint.  Just say you're welcome.

8. Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying "Screw you, bozo!" ( I think I use this word sometimes instead of fine. You know, to change things up.)

9. Don't worry about it, I got it.: Another dangerous statement.  Meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself.  This will later result in a man asking "What's wrong?"  (For the woman's response refer to #3.)

See women aren't complicated.  ;)  How many are you guilty of?

There's no place like home, except....

Sep 23, 2011
I LOVE to travel!  It is one of my favorite things to do.  I don't get to travel as often as I would like, but who does?  With the season-that-shall-not-be-named coming soon it gets me to thinking about all the warm, sunny places I want to visit for an extended amount of time.  I won't get to many of these places this year, but a girl can dream.  Here are 5 places on the list (the very long list).

Ft. Myers, Florida

I belong at the beach.  The sand, the ocean, a comfy chair and a good book.  Ahhhh.  Absolutely wonderful. 

St. Thomas, USVI

Yes, I know another beach.  I went to St. Thomas almost 11 years ago.  It was so beautiful.  Growing up in Ohio, I never realized how blue water could actually be.  And not just one shade of blue, like 10!


 Why Greece?  You get one guess.  If you said the beach/water you win.  I can't lie, I also want to go there because of the book Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.   

Sydney, Australia

 P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way.  Sydney would be a must if ever I make it to the land down under, but I would love to see other parts of the continent as well.

London, England

As a Beatles fan, there are many places that I would need to see in England.  London has always been a place I wanted to visit.  So much history.  Love!  Surprise it's not for the beach. 

Of all these magical places Ft. Myers is probably the only one I will get to this year, but I will be happy with that.  :)  Where do you want to go?

*All of these pics I got from Pinterest, my latest obsession.*

Did I just hear a moo?!

Sep 21, 2011
I am in denial that summer is coming to an end.  Don't get me wrong I love fall.  The colors. The bonfires. The corn mazes and pumpkin patches.  LOVE! 

But we all know what comes after fall....I can't say the starts with a "w" and ends with "inter".

This is also a reason why I have Belongitis Southernexia.  Me and snow don't get along. 

ADD moment!  Back to the end of summer. To rebel against the end of summer, I still do summer type things. 

One of my favorite things to do every summer, is go to the drive-in movies!  Sitting outside, watching the big screen....fabulous!  My sister told me about the Field of Dreams drive-in in Liberty Center.  Last weekend they showed Grease and Back to the Future!  Classic!  Had to go.

This was my first time to the Field of Dreams and can I just say for this being run by a family on their property, I was SO impressed!  Everything was very organized and well run.  Before you go, check out their website for tons of information.  They also have volleyball, cornhole, putt-putt, ladder golf and bocci...for free!  Seriously very impressed. 

Now you missed out with the classic movies, but for their final weekend of the season they are showing The Help and Shark Night on screen 1 and Warrior and Columbiana on screen 2.  Squeeze in one more summer activity before fall really shows up and check them out this weekend. 

My favorite part of the night didn't really have anything to do with the actual drive-in (sorry).  Liberty Center is in the middle of the cornfields (not a bad drive though, took about 35 min.).  There we are, watching the movie when all of a sudden I, it can't be....yep it totally is...a moo!  That's awesome!!!! 

You know you are in the country when you hear a moo. At the movies. 

It wasn't crazy loud, so don't be sad if you don't get to hear it.  It totally made me giggle. 

Must. go. back.  Like I said this was their last weekend, but they will open again in the spring.  My hope is to have an awesome give-away when they re-open.  So let's start counting down the days. 
Well, maybe let's wait with an actual "days until" number until the new year.  At this point I think I will just be depressed that it is so far away. 

Ok where is my ice cream?

P.S.  Sign up for my current giveaway!!!

I want to know

Sep 20, 2011
You have been subjected blessed with the inner workings of my brain for a month now.  It has been an interesting discovery for some and maybe not so surprising to others (brave souls). 

Today I need to ask you a favor.  I know we haven't known each other very long, and already I'm asking for favors.  It's a teensy weensy one, I promise.

I want to know more 

And what you think about this little blog so far.

And why brownies disappear so fast. (Maybe I'll work on that one for a while and get back to you.)

I have six questions here that will seriously take you 10 seconds to answer. 

Thank you ever so much!
See it was just a little favor.

Random Monday: My Favorite Birthday Present

Sep 19, 2011
A week ago was my birthday!  Yeah!!  I actually claim the whole month of September to celebrate my birthday but that's another story.

Today I want to share with you my FAVORITE present!  It was given to me by a cute little second grader at my church.

She came to me, apologized for not realizing that the other day was my birthday and then gave me this:

And inside I found so many little magical things....

What every 26 yr old needs
Some Lovely Necklaces
A pink Monkey

A quarter
Random ribbon that I tied into a bow 
A mini telescope from Vacation Bible School in 2005

But my all-time favorite gift was this one....

Five business cards that are identical on the front, but have two different backs.  She explained to me that it is a game, and gave me a brief tutorial.   First, mix up the cards.  Then you tell a person to pick the one they think is our pastor's business card.  I picked one that had info about our church service on the other side.  :(  I lost, but she said I could try again.  And there it is!  Now you know how to play, too.

Too stinkin' cute.  She is such a sweetheart, and best I can figure she either gave me some of her treasures or cleaned out her junk drawer. Hard to tell the difference really. 

Have a wonderful random Monday. 

P.S.  Did you sign up to win the magical alcohol-free hand sanitizer yet?  It could be your fake birthday present!  Wait, unless it is your birthday, then it could be a real birthday present.

Think Pink

Sep 17, 2011

One of my favorite things about September, besides my birthday, is the annual Race for the Cure that takes place downtown next Sunday.  The Susan G. Komen organization has been raising funds and fighting against breast cancer for 25 years.  On their website they state that over the next 25 years, 25 million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer if a cure isn't found. 

I love being a part of something bigger than myself.  I go downtown often for sporting events, but on the Race for the Cure day everything feels different.  There is an excitement in the air.  I can feel the energy that emanates from the crowd.  It is also an emotional day.  Seeing women, young and old, wearing pink shirts that signify that they are fighting breast cancer, makes me thankful for my health and proud of their courage. 

I know that there are Race for the Cure events all over the country at different times; I encourage you to participate in the one near you next year.  You won't be sorry. 

It's not too late to help out this year.  Check out my team's page to donate.  

Fashion Friday!!! Mix and match.

Sep 16, 2011
Another Fashion Friday is here!  I love some of these looks.  I'm feeling a shopping trip in on my to-do list today.  Yep.
Back to School Special

A few years ago, I worked at a popular children's store where I learned the importance of mixing and matching pieces in order to build a wardrobe.

The basic recipe is as follows:
Look #1 = Jacket + Top + Skirt Look
#2 = Top + Jeans Look
#3 = T-shirt + Leggings

Mix and match pieces to create multiple looks - the goal is to create about 20 or so different looks with these 7 pieces. I realize that 7 pieces of clothing may work for a 3 year old, but not necessarily for an adult who needs office attire, formal and club wear, etc. However, the basic formula applies to us all, and with an emphasis on accessories, a person can really change up their look without spending a fortune on new clothes.

~Midnight Cowgirl

P.S.  Did you see the giveaway earlier?

Prefense Giveaway!!

My first giveaway!!!!  A product I have recently fallen in love with....
Once upon a time I worked in a daycare.  While working at the daycare I took a class about communicable diseases.  Fun times, my friend, fun times.  I learned all (ok maybe not all, but a lot) about the lovely little germs that love to hang out on places like door handles, TV remotes, kitchen counters and faucets, microwave buttons, the keyboard I'm typing on right now and many other places.  Grosses me out!!

Now one would think that because I'm grossed out by these things I would be a hand sanitizer junkie.  Not so much.  I have one reason why....Alcohol.  I hate the way it makes my hands smell, I don't like the thought about how much is being absorbed into my skin, and I don't appreciate the way it dries out my skin.  A triple threat.

So why, if I'm not a hand sanitizer junkie am I giving some away?  It's alcohol free!!! Oh snap!  Instead Prefense use natural ingredients.  It is silica based, a magical substance that is already found in your body (Totally had to look that up. I know about germs not silica).  After using Prefense I've discovered that it smells nice (surprisingly), is non-toxic and softens my skin.  Hallelujah!  I think I'm in love.  And there's more!!!  This stuff protects against MRSA, staph, strep, E.coli, and lasts up to 24 hours or 10 hand washes.
 They also make wipes, so you can tackle those household germ factories.

You can get some for free! I am giving away a 8oz bottle of Prefense which offers 640 applications -- with one spray lasting all day, that one bottle of Prefense could potentially last one user almost 2 years!  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can complete one or all of the following options to enter.

If you don't win (or even if you do) Prefense can be ordered on their website or Amazon

You'll Be So Proud of Me

Sep 12, 2011
Guess what, Guess what!!!  Since this is a blog and I can't hear your guess; I'll just tell you.

I gave a guy my phone number this weekend!  Not just any guy....Restaurant Guy!!!!  Yes, that guy!  The one that I thought should have made a move first.

A few friends and I went to the other restaurant that he works at, with the hope he would be working that night.  Sure enough, there he was!  After being coaxed... a my girlfriends that were with me, I went to talk to him.  And can I just say that I definitely gave some great lines.  I am very proud of myself. 

Here are some of the highlights...

Restaurant Guy: Girls night out?
Me: Yeah, we went to the Art Museum and decided to come here, since you recommended it.  (Part of previous conversation)
RG: The Museum? Never been there.
Me: What!!!  That's sad.  You need to go.
RG: Well, I'm not going to go by myself.
Me: You just need to ask someone to go with you. (Great line #1)
Was a little disappointed he just let this one drop.

Our Waiter: Hey, Restaurant Guy.
RG: Yeah?
RG: Yeah?
Me: I guess it wasn't that important.
RG: He just likes to hear the sound of my name.
Me: Well, who wouldn't?  (I count that as a good flirt moment.)

Before we left, I wrote on a napkin (I know, so typical) "Let me know if you need someone to go with to the art museum. Name and number." I took it over to him and told him thanks again for the recommendation.  He asked a second time what our plans were after we left.  I told him not much, and asked if he had any plans.  The group of us ended up hanging out playing pool and darts.

Did you catch that!!  Not only was I gutsy and made the first move, but I (and some friends) hung out with him for a bit!!!   CRAZY!!!!!

We'll see if he calls. Bets are being placed now. ;)

And just for your information this wasn't the only instance this weekend that I took a random gutsy move.  What has happened to me! Not that I'm complaining.

wink wink

Sep 9, 2011
In case you haven't heard, I joined  :)  I laugh every time I think about it.  ha ha ha

Still not completely sure what I think about this endeavor yet.

It is weird to me doing this online instead of in person.

Part of the "this" is flirting.  ha ha ha ha (can't help it)

Back to flirting.  On the website you have the option of emailing a guy or sending a wink.  Which again I find hilarious.  I get 6 to 8 daily matches and I answer the classic middle school question "Do you like me? Check yes, no, or maybe."  I usually have one or two maybes and the rest are a no.  Sunday on the other hand I had 3, yes 3, guys that caught my eye.  Attractive, educated, didn't come off creepy and interested in things I am.  WOW!!!

Now just because this is online doesn't make me any less shy making a bold first move.  So after much encouragement from friends, I winked.  At all three. And have heard nothing back yet.  Sad face.  I should have just emailed them, but that is a different conversation for another day.

Flirting.  What does it look like in real life?

Here is the opinions of a few members from the guy panel:

How do you know a girl is flirting with you?

Dude 1:  First sign would be if she is going out of her way to talk to you.  The second sign would be non-verbal’s such as smiling, showing interest, or somewhat nervous around you.

Dude 2: If she laughs at my jokes even when they are corny. If she tries to impress me with what she says and what she does, like she checks to see if I'm watching her, or tries to say things that she knows will get a reaction out of me.

How do you flirt?

Dude 1: Try to strike up conversation about something that would be interesting to her.  The conversation would normally be comfortable and I would try to get to know more about her.  I’m not a big fan of the one liners such as “Are you tired?  You should be because you have been running through my mind all day.”  (LOL!)

Dude 2: I've always gone with the idea that I just be straight forward and see what happens. If we are in a group setting, I always try to get next to her.  I try to create a private joke between us, so that we begin to have a secret little bond. So that when people say something that relates to our private joke, we can look at each other and smile or laugh. The more comfortable we both get, the more secret little jokes we have between each other.

So, what do you think?  Anything from the guy panel you agree with?  Don't agree with?

Why so serious?

Sep 7, 2011
I have come to the realization within the last month or so that I take dating way too seriously.  I'm not sure where exactly it stemmed from, but I have always thought that by going on a date with a guy you were committing to being in a relationship with him.

Talk about pressure on the first date!

Because of this I would tell guys that I wasn't interested, since I didn't necessarily want to be in a relationship with him.  Like I said, not sure where this train of thought came from.

This topic came up talking with a friend last night.  She too had come to this realization.  Dating is supposed to be the time to get to know someone to see if you want to be in a relationship with him.  Go on a date, have fun, decide whether you want that relationship when the DTR (define the relationship) conversation comes up.  Otherwise, date away.

Now obviously you still have standards (no homie/gangsta for me) for the guys you go on dates with, but for the most part (hopefully) they will be decent guys that you can just go out and have a good time being spoiled. 

What a relief!! 

Now who's going to take me out Friday?  ;)

Belongitis Southernexia

Sep 4, 2011
I think it is time I tell you that I suffer from Belongitis Southernexia.  This condition isn't found in medical books, but in the...Jenny Dictionary.  This is where we also found the term Mini-Adventure. So what is Belongitis Southernexia? 
Belongitis Southernexia: n. A disorder found in Northern state residents that causes the person to display Southern state characteristics or show favoritism to Southern activities, fashion, music or cuisine.
Do you have Belongitis Southernexia?

Here are the symptoms you need to watch out for:
  • Do you like country music?
  • Do you own a pair of cowboy boots and wear public the summer?
  • Not only do you own boots, but do you also have a cowboy hat...that you wear in public...with the boots?
  • Do you love cornbread? mmmm....cornbread.
  • Do you order sweet tea at restaurants, and when they say they have regular tea and sweetener, you pass?
  • Do you say words like y'all, ain't and shouldn'a?
  • Are you proud when you hear songs like Sweet Home Alabama or God Bless Texas even though you aren't from Alabama or Texas?
If you said yes to 4 or more of the above questions you too may have Belongitis Sounthernexia.

The first step is to admit you have a problem.  The problem isn't that you have this made-up serious disorder, but that you live in a Northern state.

My problem is that I live in Ohio. Phew. First step over. 

The second step requires you to embrace your southern-ness.  This is a process.  I am still perfecting this step.  I went to a county fair on Friday to see....the tractor pull!

Ha ha ha it sounded so southern and countryish.  Three out of four people in our group were wearing cowboy hats.  Did I feel at home?  No!  There was one 60 year old dude in the crowed stands that had on a cowboy hat and that's it!  I was very sad. But boy did we look cute!! I got bored after about 10 minutes.  I stayed though, watching for almost an hour just so I could say I went.  

The third step....oh gee just move to the south already. :)

Well, I'm having a flare up now and need to find some sweet tea.  Have a good Labor Day weekend!!!

An Experiment

Sep 2, 2011
Yesterday, I did something to change things up.  I can't believe I actually did this.

I joined!!!! For reals!!!  AHHHHHHH!!!!!

Now that I got all that out of my system, I will fill you in. 

Picture it...two days ago... three friends are talking about guys (of course!), sharing our frustrations and confusion about different situations.

Why are you guys so difficult to figure out!
We women aren't that hard to figure.  ;)

Ok, ok, anyway,  I just start listening and thinking that my "pool" of single men is on the very minimalist side. And this is where I start being sad and craving some ice cream.  So I say to myself, "Hey, you should do something to CHANGE THAT!"   "Ok, Ok.  You don't have to yell."
There's the story, that's all it took.  Good grief.

Here's what has happened so far. I have been "winked" at by at least a dozen guys, I have two emails waiting for me and I have had my first half dozen matches picked for me.  If anything this experiment will do wonders for my ego.  :)

It is only day two and I already have some observations.....That you get to hear....aren't you lucky.

1) It makes me a little nervous that a guy has "looking for a girl 18-30"  and he is 30.  They are not all like that,  so far that has been the minority.  Phew.

2) It is weird/awkward telling a guy "Yes, Not interested, or Maybe" from a picture and a brief paragraph.  Although that sounds like Jr. High.  Circle yes, no or maybe.  LOL!

3) I laugh when it tells me that the guy "like me" is an oldest child.  Is that really important or what!

4) What I think when I have matches with guys who are in their early 30's: Why is he here? Oh wait that is only 7ish years away.  Oh snap! I'm almost 30!!! Can you tell my birthday is coming up?

5) The picks around here aren't amazing, but there are some cute ones.  Which makes me think...Where have you been hiding!!!

Like I said this is only day 2.  I did say maybe to some of my matches.  I'm not sure what happens now, but I'll keep you updated.

Wink. Wink. It is kinda fun being winked at.