Monday, November 30, 2009

What happened to Christmas?

I am so sick and tired of the buy, buy, buy mentality that so many people have.
George Carlin does this great bit on people and their stuff.

Honestly, is that what Christmas is all about? Our church did a sermon series on
Unwrapping Christmas. Before the service started they played this video:

It's from the Advent Conspiracy web site where they pose the question,
What happened to Christmas? I encourage you to check it out.

Our minister spoke on Beyond the Feast. He brought up that fact that we all get caught up in buying products and services because of the promises that are made, but when the gadget, food, movie or other object doesn't live up to the promise we are back out there looking for more.
Those promises are never truly going to fulfill us; we gorge ourselves asking the question: is there something more? The answer is yes! There is something more, but we can't find it at Target or the grocery store. We need to use our sight, not our eyes, to guide us, to change our hearts so that we can move into action and make lasting changes in our lives. So that we can
find that lasting hope.
I call you into action, make a difference this holiday season and stop
buying all that stuff.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

more green ideas

Just a quick review, for the sake of, I don't know, saving the planet. Beth Aldrich and Airwear are teaming up to make sure everyone knows that there are greener choices out there.
Some of the choices we have made are to buy locally when ever possible. If you have a fresh market in your area, you should find out what local farmers are growing. I promise that you will find a lot of healthy choices and you will also be supporting your local growers.
Another greener choice is to use cloth grocery bags when you go shopping I wrote about it here. If you will just buy one bag every time you go to the store, before you know it you won't have to use any plastic bags and you will be saving money. Yes, that right! Many local stores will reimburse you whenever you use your cloth bags.
Most recently, I wrote about using filtered water instead of bottled water here. Plastic bottles aren't not only bad for mother earth, the chemical are dangerous to our bodies too!
Another "environmentally friendly thing we do around here is to recycle.
Any and all of these choices are great. And don't forget that Airwear is using environmentally conscious practices. For example they use 100 percent recycled water and 100 percent recyclable packaging.
Oh, and for those who are plagued with noxious paint fumes, the University of Southern Miss's
polymer science department had developed an environmentally friendly paint. You can read more about it here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Young Adult Books for Not so Young Adults

When I discovered I was pregnant with my first child I put down the books I read (mainly Anne Rice's vampire chronicles) in favor of those on pregnancy, child development and later, children's books. Several years passed, when quite by accident I happened across a blog that opened the door for me to start reading a genre of books I never would have thought I'd read, much less enjoy. I'm sure you've heard about Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. Since reading her books, I have found myself reading a number of young adult books including The Mortal Instrument series, by Cassandra Clare.

My sweet daughter decided to dress as the one of the main characters, Clary Fray, for Halloween.

Well, as you might of guessed, I didn't stop there. I have read more than a couple of young adult books that would be considered to be urban fantasy/paranormal romance in nature.

Apparently there's quite a debate over what to call this new genre of book. Urban fantasy books are supposedly set in a modern day time period and contain supernatural elements where as, paranormal romance books have to do with mythical, supernatural or what-have-you love stories. Personally, I don't care what the books are labeled as as long as they are well written and entertaining.

I have provided a list of authors and book with links so that you might find a book or two that you would enjoy reading. I would also appreciate any suggestion of books you've enjoyed.

I recently read Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater. Shiver is a wonderful book about a girl saved from a wolf attack by one of her attackers. As she grows, she becomes more and more interested in the wolf who saved her. She has an opportunity to return the favor by saving his life. That leads to having to take a second look at her own reality. Maggie has also written several books about fairies, a topic I never really found interesting until I read her first book, Lament. It has a basis in Celtic folk lore that I found interesting. You can purchase it here. I am currently reading the second in that series called Ballad.

Another book that I fell in love with was Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Hush Hush was just released last month. It is a truly a phenomenal story! I promise that Patch will make you question anything you've ever read about fallen angels. She will soon publish the second book in that series; it will be named Crescendo .

Note: There is a wonderful give-a-way going on over at Books Gardens and Dogs where you can win an ARC of Hush Hush so go forth and tell everyone you know to sign up to win!

Sarah Rees Brennan, an Irish author, wrote a wonderful book called The Demon's Lexicon that is a must read in this genre. It's about two brothers whose father was murdered and their mother was driven mad by magicians. While they are running from the demons and their magic, Alan finds himself marked by a demon. As Nick began to question his brother's honesty his world unravels. You really don't want to pass this book over. The second book in this series will be The Demon's Covenant.

Another good author to read is Holly Black. She is best known for her collaboration with Tony DiTerlizzi on the best-selling Spiderwick Chronicles. You can access her web site here. She has also written Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside, a faerie series.

Lisa McMann has a paranormal series which I found very intriguing. The first in her series is Wake, followed by Fade and soon to be released Gone. Janie has the ability to enter into the dreams of others. It's not until she starts working at a local nursing home and befriends an elderly women with similar skills, that she learns to how she can use her unusual talent. Lisa has a contest going on here where she is giving away copies of Gone. You really don't want to miss out!

Candor by Pam Bachirz provided an interesting look into what I already suspected about all these ideal neighborhoods popping up in Florida. Oscar appears to be the perfect teen, but he knows how to fight "The Message." Now he must save Nia or lose himself trying.

Other authors/books that I have on my 'to read' list include Carrie Jones' Need, Immortal by Gillian Shields, Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, Melissa Marr's Fragile Eternity, and Evermore by Alyson Noel.

But most importantly Beautiful Creatures by Kami Farcia and Margaret Stohl is to be released December 1, 2009. Now, if you want to win a signed ARC and a plethora of other goodies you can go here and enter the contest!

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” mahatma gandhi