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Friday, September 16, 2011


I think everyone is constantly changing. Hundreds of little things and dozens of big things happen everyday to each one of us that has the power to influence change within ourselves.

Most days I find myself struggling with always keeping a positive outlook throughout my day. When there is constantly people, places and things pulling you down and making you feel so small, sometimes it is all you can do to put a smile on your face while viewing or experiencing something hilariously funny. Then there are negative aspects to our days where they turn out to be not so negative after all. Like receiving a denial letter but it is littered with compliments and praise and joy. These are the things that keep me going and pushing through the days that pull me down below the dirt of the earth.

People need to know that the smallest things count.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Books, books and more books.

Thanks to the help of Amazon and Whatshouldireadnext.com I have found some awesome books this summer. Since my last blog post I have read four books. A Soft Place to Land by Susan Rebecca White, Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay, These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf and Never Knowing by (who has become one of my all-time favorite authors) Chevy Stevens.

First, I will talk about a soft place to land. This "dramedy" novel was very well written, and one of the best non-suspense books I have read this summer. Most of the books I have read have been very complex, mystery filled plots that keep you guessing at every turn. This sister-relationship novel didn't have those plot twists but did keep my interested and connected to the book. It is definitely a summer-esque book and I would recommend it. I would give four out of five stars!

The next book I read was Sarah's Key, part of Target's book club picks, and for good reason. This historical novel takes place in modern day Paris, France and in World War II France. The books goes back and forth between Sarah Starzynski and Julia Jarmond. Sarah is a France-born Jew living with her parents and brother in Paris in 1941. Julia is an American living in Paris with her husband Bertrand and daughter Zoe. With short chapters and interesting writing, this book is a true gem. Five out of five stars for me. I loved it!

The next book I read was These Things Hidden. I enjoyed this book. The story is told by an array of different characters, Allison, Brynn, Charm and Claire. Allison and Brynn tell the story in first person and Charm and Claire are told from a third person's point of view. Throughout the book you learn how each are intertwined, and it creates a very interesting voice. Surprisingly, having the story told by four different women was NOT confusing. It actually made the story that much richer in comparison to other novels, where you only get one person's insight. It was a little repetitive at times, but overall it kept me very much engrossed. 3 1/2 out of five stars!
Finally, just last night, I finished reading Never Knowing. Holy cow. I don't know how she does it, but Chevy Stevens created another knock out even after her best-seller Still Missing (which I adored and my mother also loved). Both stories hold a complex plot and have very different and interesting characters, twists and turns at every possibly moment and a shocking twist when you think the climax has already happened. Despite these similarities, the books are very different and don't feel like you're reading the same story all over again. I will even say this this novel is better than her first! Keep it coming, Chevy. I will read everything you write if it's even half what Never Knowing was. Five out of five stars!

NEXT UP: The Kindness of Strangers - Katrina Kittle and The Weight of Silence - Heather Gudenkauf.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Still Missing" & "A Stolen Life"

(Original post on Thursday) I finished Still Missing last night around 11:30 pm. Woah, was that a ride. A coworker of mine had told me she had read it just after I decided to buy it at Target on my lunch break. Great decision!

Just a little bit of the plot: Annie O'Sullivan is a realtor on Vancouver Island who is dating a lovely man and only slightly likes her mother and stepfather. One day, she is hosting a slow open house when a gentlemen decides he wants to see the house. Before she knows it, the gentlemen with the charming smile has a gun to her back and is telling her to get into his van. She is held captive for a year up in the woods and has to bear horrific routines, chores, rules and abuse. She escapes, however, and the book is broken up in sessions with her therapist. She speaks the whole time, retelling the stories of what happened on the mountain and what is going on now that she is home. With so many twists and turns, this novel is way more than what I have already described.

(New post, Sunday afternoon 7/17)
In conclusion, this book might not be literary genius but it is an eye grabber and you become hooked. And it is not hard to get wrapped up in the story and find yourself grinding your teeth, making fists or find yourself with your jaw touching the floor!

AND - Special extra! I just finished A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard, an instant favorite of mine. Here is a good review of the book, you can find it here.

I think this critic does an amazing job describing the best qualities of the book, so if you want to go ahead and read that to get insight into the instant bestseller! I read this in 3 or 4 days. I feel very proud of my reading lately!

So I have read two books back to back about women who are held captive. One (Still Missing) a fictional story of a 30-something who is kept for a year. The other, (A Stolen Life) a real life horror about a pre-teen girl taken and held captive for 18 years before she is reunited with her family and friends. Both are very powerful and captivating. They are eerily similar but different at the same time. Both are wonderful! Happy reading everyone!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Still Missing

I have decided to blog about a book. I'm thinking this will be my way of making myself stick to a book and finish it in a timely manner. The title is still missing my Chevy Stevens. I have heard good things and hope to enjoy this journey throughout the novel. I will post every so often about it in hopes to spark my interest in reading. Hope anyone who follows or stumbles upon will find joy in this blog for the time being. Over and out.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


What to talk about today? That is the plaguing question. I think I am going to talk about a certain aspect of life.

I enjoy life. Most days I am filled with laughter and busting at the seems with smiles to greet everyone. But the other days I have my cranky pants on and don't feel comfortable in my own skin. I struggle with anger and depression, I won't lie. My anger stems from my strong convictions about life. I have a few beliefs that seem to creep into every aspect of my life. Anger can be healthy and it can also be dangerous.

I guess what makes me angry the most is Fatherhood. Fatherhood has become something that is not appreciated but dreaded. There are few men that I have had the pleasure of knowing who have taken their life-long commitment as a father seriously. I think all the good that is supposed to come out of commitment has been replaced with the free life. Men want to be free from women. I'm sorry, were we suffocating you with your responsibilities? I wonder when this general decline in Fatherhood began to happen? The 60's when everyone started to lose control and fall into the wonderful world of sex, drugs and rock and roll? Maybe this was the beginning of something great but also could be the beginning of an era of Fatherless Homes - which I have written an article about in the past. There needs to be a book a man reads before he is ever able to have an erection. Maybe that might be a little young to all you conservatives out there, but that would sure help this problem. It seems like some men these days are raised to only think of themselves and to avoid commitment.

Now, all you angry men out there just calm down. You know most of this is generally true of your species. More to come. That's all for today. Over and out.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Obsessions

H&M, Twitter, Blogging, Boyfriend.

First, let me give some background. As I sit here and watch an old re-run of House with Sara Beara, I have an odd fascination with strolling through twitter and trying to decide how I should go about blogging on this thing. I watched Julie & Julia and she actually had a reason to blog, thus ended up having an interesting following. I don't want a book deal or a movie but I do want to have someone read my posts and get something from it. If there's nothing to get from it, then that's my fault and I'm sorry for that. Sometimes I feel like I have no hobbies and no actual interests besides my recently purchased, all-seven seasons of The Golden Girls. However, I am very opinionated and have had my share of experiences in life up until now, at 20 (I'll keep you posted on more experiences).

So, let me explain my new obsessions. I am a little late on reporting this, but I am obsessed with H & M. First discovered in Hampton, Virginia while on vacation, I fell in love at first glace. Then I feel even deeper in love when I saw the prices of the clothes. Hi-yo! My sister was right when she said it was everyone's style. They have a little bit of everything there. So needless to say, my closet is already littered with their clothes. I have also introduced Sara to this as well. Whoops. Glad the nearest one is 2.5 hours away!

Next obsession: Twitter. Celebrity updates are sickeningly good! Some celeb's I stay away from but the normal Twitter-lovers are usually fun to hear from. Tom Hanks, Kim Kardashian, Blake Shelton and others have been lighting up my feed! Addicted? Yes. Maybe more than just addicted? I'll keep you posted.

Blogging. I kind of explained this before. I just want my post's to mean something! Not many friends my age like to blog. So I'll have to branch outside my comfort zone, reach out to others. I'll try to keep myself from long posts and rambles. Maybe that will help...

Boyfriend. New boyfriend? No. Same old, same old. I just want to write the words down here that I want to say but can't. I have been with Dan since October 2009. He has given me some of the best memories of my life along with giving me the love and attention I deserve. We're not always perfect, that's for sure. I wouldn't want to be perfect. Him and I have recently decided to put the spice back in our life. To work on things and make sure the spark stays alive. I love him more than life and I hope he knows that. Ok, so I'm not OBSESSED with my boyfriend. But I want everyone to know how crazy I am about him. He makes me a better person, a better girlfriend, a better woman. I don't know who I would be without him in my life. This sounds like a cliche romance novel for sure, but its honesty at its finest.

Sometimes we don't have to speak the words we are feeling, but it is nice to write them down.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mountains, motor homes and Montana's.

I sure do love clever titles. They just might be my favorite thing about this silly blog.

So, the last time I updated we had gone to Ben and Jerry's, Cabot Creamery and Dartmouth. Well, since then we have been all over the damn place! On Tuesday we went down to Quechee Gorge, which is pretty awesome. Sara of course was scared and walked very slow while on the bridge that runs over the gorge. They have a visitors trail that you can walk down to actually get to the bottom of the gorge, which is a pretty steep .4 miles long. So, Sara and I went on another "hiking" adventure, down the Quechee Gorge. It was so beautiful at the bottom. Rocks with flowing water, where we took pictures, of course.

We climbed back up and we headed to Woodstock, Vermont. This is a quaint, tourist town that we drove through to get to our destination and decided we MUST go back. Little shops, restaurants and art galleries lined the streets along with old houses and buildings dated from the 1800's. And a covered bridge, which was very rustic and beautiful.

Wednesday, we traveled our little hiney's to Boston, Massachusetts with Sue. First stop was actually in Cambridge, where Harvard is :). We had the hardest time actually finding Harvard because it is literally hidden behind it's own buildings. My GPS said, you have arrived and I had no idea what it was talking about. Once you walk in between some buildings, you realize you are in Harvard Yard, where most of the academic buildings are. While at Harvard, we ate at Bartley's Burgers and visited the Coop, which is Harvard's store of signature Harvard apparel. Then, we went to the North End of Boston, which is *hush hush* Little Italy. Everything was Italian, except the 1-800-Flowers we parked next to. We went to Mike's Pastry, which is a North End staple and had the best Canoli's ever! We got some souvenirs in some gift shops, walked around and absolutely loved the Italian and Boston accents. Such a weird experience!

We left Vermont on Thursday. :( Packed up our stuff and got back on the road. We made it to Batavia, New York to stop for the night. We shopped at a Walmart where I found a ton of TV seasons for only 15$. Needless to say I spent a little too much, but got a great deal.

On Friday, we arrived in Niagara Falls, NY! We bought tickets for the day for the trolley, Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist (YAY) and the aquarium. I absolutely LOVED Maid of the Mist. Although there were at least a hundred other people on board with us, I felt like I was on a private tour of the falls and that I was special. (Hah). I loved the water on my face and on my sunglasses! After that we walked around for a while, seeing and observing the falls from all different angles. It was just TOO gorgeous. Then we visited the aquarium, which was small but had lot's of fishies! We walked back over to the main area and took the trolley over to the other side of the falls where the Cave of the Winds was. We got to go practically into the falls bu walking up steps. We lived through the Hurricane Deck, where I got soaked! Good thing I had a poncho. However, my pants got incredibly wet! All in all, Niagara was definitely worth it! I don't know if I have ever seen anything more beautiful.

Then we made our way through Canada a little ways, while I got sick and threw up a couple times. Once in the motorhome while driving - that was fun! - and once was at a Montana's restaurant, hence the part of the title. Thankfully, I made it outside the restaurant. After that, I felt much better, to say the least.

Once we made it back into the U.S. on Saturday I was full of joy. Not being able to use my phone or the internet drives me nuts. And knowing we would get back to Hastings that day was also a nice feeling :) I hadn't showered since Thursday morning. Ugh. So we're back in Michigan and going to be heading back to Mount Pleasant today. Feels like forever since I have been there, and I cannot WAIT to do my laundry. It's gonna feel so good! Of course, we're gonna make a pit stop in Grand Rapids for a little bit. Mama bought us a new microwave and I want to see them! But for now, our trip is over and it was a darn good one, too! Over and out!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ice cream, cheese and ivy.

An update to our trip!

Yesterday, Sunday, Sara and I went to Dartmouth College! Our first ivy league experience! Just so happens it was also commencement day-- lucky us! It was actually a good day to go because the town of Hanover which is combined (basically) with Dartmouth was very lively and spiritful. We really didn't blend in, though, because most of the people were there for the ceremony and had friends and family there. We, however, had camera's around our necks and maps in front of our faces. Oh joy! The tourists are here.

We saw a lot of cool brick buildings, still not sure which ones were dorms and which ones were academic buildings. We were able to find the Admissions building, a building for information and a theater (that's where we found our trusty map!), a library (of course, we work at a library, why not seek one out?), the Green (where the ceremony was taking place) and the Hood Museum of Art! Dartmouth is a very old, historic campus and it nestled in the mountains of New Hampshire, just across the Connecticut River from Vermont. Listen to me, I sound like a website. But seriously, it is just beautiful. The art museum had an awesome collection and was possibly my favorite part of Dartmouth because I have never been exposed to some of the types of art before. Such as early Renaissance and early American art collections. I am so excited I got to have my first Ivy League experience at Dartmouth College because the atmosphere was friendly, academic, intelligent and beautiful.

After Dartmouth we came back to the motor home and goofed around for a bit while Bob and Sue went to the laundromat. Sara and I took crazy pics of ourselves and I managed to suck up her computer cord into the vacuum while trying to help out (yup, another fail for Brittany). Also, after the vacuum incident, while said cord was still inside the vacuum, I managed to mess up the steps to the motor home. They wouldn't stay in place, but they would move out when you opened the door and closed in when you closed the door. Crap. Ended up being an easy fix but I felt like quite the idiot. Other than that it was a chill night.

Today, Monday, Bob, Sue, Sara and I went up to Cabot, Vermont and visited the Cabot Creamery Visitors center. We saw a video on the history of Cabot (which is a farmer owned co-op) and got to sample some wonderful cheese. Grade A cheese! Also got a short tour of their factory. Definitely learned a lot about cheese!

After the cheese creamery we hopped over to Waterbury, Vermont and visited Ben & Jerry's! What a cool place. It just feels so welcoming and inviting. Lots of people were there, but the tours run smoothly and efficiently. We got their, bought our tickets, wandered around for a moment looking at the gift shop and went on our tour. We saw a six minute video on the history and future of Ben and Jerry's, which was funny and interesting. They are definitely an amazing company - just like Cabot. Vermont has some good people :) Then we took a short tour to oversee some of the processsing of the ice cream. Mostly all we saw was packaging, but it was still very cool. Basically today's theme was cows. Cows, cows and more cows! A day udderly filled with cows! Sorry for the pun.

What a fun-filled two days and we still have the rest of the week to go! Over and out!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Through the mountains we goooo...

Every once in a while I get into a blog mood again. Don't know why I go back and forth, but I do. This post is going to be about our travel's so far, that being Sue, Bob and Sara Archambeau and myself. We landed in Thetford, Vermont at the Rest N Nest campground, just north of Norwich, Vermont. Norwich is where King Arthur Flour is located and that is the reason for our trip. Sue wanted to take baking classes at KAF because it is her favorite cooking company. She became overwhelmed with joy when we went into the Bakery Shop yesterday. We just stopped by to make sure we could find it and Sue was in heaven. I bought some Pumpkin Pancake mix and Chocolate Chip Cookie mix. Wonder if it'll be better than Sue's homemade? Probably not.

So going back to the beginning, we shoved off from Hastings, Michigan around 5 pm on Wednesday the 8th and stopped driving the motorhome around 10 pm in Woodstock, Ontario in a WalMart parking lot. Slept in our yucky-ness that night and were already looking forward to showering at the campground. Got up early the next day and drove through Canada, crossing the border back into the United States around St. Catharines and Niagara Falls. We passed the Falls on the highway just before Customs. Going into Canada was fairly easy, just a couple questions and off we went. Into the United States, the customs people were searching every car and we were in a motorhome. They came up into the RV and matched the licenses/passports with the people and, once again, Sara and I were called sisters. They didn't know which license was who's. They didn't give us any trouble, though. Good! Cause I get nervous in those situations and I looked like c-r-a-p. So we kept driving, stopping on and off for the dogs and bathrooms and food. I have to say, traveling in a motorhome with friends AND dogs is quite amazing. Sophie, the scardy-dog, should have been medicated before the trip became, but she hasn't been too much trouble. Maggie has been excited for everything this trip has to offer and they both have been very good puppies.

Captain Bob did a very good job driving us through Canada, construction, mountains and really scary bridges to get us to the great state of Vermont. Co-Caption Sue did a very good job navigating until we got to the camp ground...then we needed some help from my handy GPS on my phone, which has saved us multiple times. We were able to find Enterprise for the rental car, Walmart in New Hampshire, King Arthur Flour and, of course, our way back to the campground. They were very thankful, of course.

So, since we've been here (just after 9 pm on Thursday) we have been settling in and kind of exploring. Yesterday, Friday, Sara and I decided to walk to the post office, "just a mile down the hill on the right," the campground manager said. So we start walking down a hill which very quickly turns into a MOUNTAIN. We keep going down and down and down until we realize there is no way we are getting back up this hill. Then, we finally reach a town. Post office anywhere to be seen? Nope. We had to search a little ways for it, but we found it! Then, we decided to call Sue and Bob and ask for them to come get us. Turns out, they don't have any cell phone signal at the campsite. So we had to call the same guy that gave us the bad directions and ask for him to relay the message that we need to be picked up down the mountain. I will say, despite the epic fail on our parts, it was a very scenic and hilarious trip. And it's always better with a best friend by your side :)

Vermont is SUCH a beautiful state. Rolling mountains, called the Green Mountains, which is very appropriate because of all the evergreen trees covering them. New Hampshire's state motto is Live Free or Die, which is also appropriate considering they don't have tax on most of their products. The price on the item is the price you pay. That's always nice! Where we are staying is only a matter of a couple miles from New Hampshire, so I'm sure we'll be seeing it again, soon.

So far, I've been through Michigan, Ontario, New York State, Vermont and New Hampshire and on Wednesday we will be taking a day trip down to Boston, Massachusetts! What a vacation. I will be sure to update this with more tales from the motorhome. Over and out!