Liebster Award

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This award comes from Mental Mama, who, in classy fashion, offered it up to anyone. I haven’t done one of these in a while (a Liebster award that was challenging, as opposed to any award post.) and I think she posed some excellent questions, so here I am.

1. What is your favorite breakfast?

Bagels with lox, cream cheese, onion, and cucumber. Do not knock this until you’ve tried it. Always choose Nova Lox if you’re first starting out.

2. When you need to cheer yourself up, what music do you go for?

I always listen to music on shuffle and I have eclectic taste, so I am not genre specific. It’s rarely about cheering myself up, but there are plenty of songs that make me smile or feel good.

3. What is your favorite family tradition?

Friday and Sunday dinners. They’re not set in stone, but when they come together, they make me happy. I am the matriarch of my line, so I take great pride in cooking for friends and family and seeing their faces as they enjoy what I have prepared. I am always open to requests, but each person has a favorite, or five. 🙂

4. What should your headstone read?

It will be in Hebrew, English, Latin, Russian, and entirely personal between myself and my children. That’s how it should be.

5. What is your middle name?

Begins with an M, ends with an E, and means “Star Of The Sea”, in homage to my Grandfather.

6. Where did you go on your favorite vacation?

I don’t think I’ve had the ultimate favorite yet. Thus far, they have all been memorable though.

7. How do you like your eggs prepared?

Scrambled in olive oil with garlic, onion, kosher salt, a good amount of peppercorn medley, dill, cayenne, mozzarella cheese & baby bella mushrooms. Thus far, I am the only person that can nail this particular combination without ruining it and screwing up the taste ratio.

8. What is your personal mission statement?

Question everything, be honest, be fearless, and don’t ever worry about being liked.

9. Do you feel as though you are a grown up yet?

I’m pretty sure I was born one.

10. What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever done to or with your hair?

I’ve done all of the colors that one would consider “natural”. I like being blonde, for some reason it is one of the longest lasting shades for me. I find all shades of red to be the most work at maintaining. I am an espresso brunette (naturally, and at this very moment), which is a step away from black, which would be way too Goth for me because of how fair-skinned I am (I contemplated it, my stylist refused to let me do it.), but is still in the brown family. I am working myself up to dark blue highlights, or even a lighter shade of blue, or maybe even purple. I’ve tried this out with some Manic Panic clip-ins and I think they look pretty fucking cool. I have yet to decide if I am officially “too old” for this, or not. I don’t think anything I’ve done to my hair, outside of playing with the color, would be considered unusual. I’ve experimented. It’s a creative outlet for me.

11. What kind of chocolate do you prefer?

Dark chocolate with orange and cayenne pepper. I also LOVE Grand Marnier dark chocolate truffles. Yes, there is a pattern here. LOL.

Now I have to nominate some people. I am generally in the habit of nominating the same people over and over again, so this time I am going to try to choose 5 people that are new to me, as in, new this year, not necessarily new bloggers. Also, any of my friends (you all know who you are, because I can only think of 5.) are more than willing to accept this and answer the questions, because I feel all of you deserve it.

For the nominees, post the award on your blog and on a post with your answers. Thank you for playing along and for having blogs I now get to enjoy.  

#1- Of Curious Minds

#2- A.D. Martin

#3- Pagan Connection

#4- Things That Go Bump In My Mind

#5- Taking The Mask Off

 

Ah yes, questions for my nominees…

1) What is your favorite fruit?

2) Why have you chosen to blog?

3) What is your favorite genre in which to read?

4) What is your favorite social media platform?

5) Hometown?

6) Are you drinking enough water each day?

7) Your favorite sound is?

8) What are some of your favorite smells?

9) Do you have specific life rules that you follow to the letter?

10) Do you have a green thumb?

Shine On Award

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First and foremost, my thanks to Shaun for the honorable mention. Most of the awards I’ve received have been because of this kind man, and that means a lot to me. http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com. Shaun’s got an interesting blog, unique and honest, and he & I are always able to debate things like reasonable human beings, which is a nice thing indeed.

The Rules:

1)  Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.

2)  Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.

3)  Share 7 random interesting things about yourself.

4)  Nominate up to 15 bloggers for Shine On Award, provide a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.

5)  Copy and paste the award somewhere on your blog.

7 Things about Lisa

1. I’m a jewelry whore of epic proportions, but I’m also extremely selective in terms of taste.

2. My middle name means “Star Of The Sea” in Latin.

3. I recently tried vegetarianism for about two months. I came out of it with the firm knowledge that I will never be a vegetarian or a vegan. Not unless my life depends on it, and even that is seriously up for debate. You do not want to be around me when you cut out most lean proteins and damn near all external sources of sugar. I was so unpleasant, it was scary. I’m pretty sure I was growling 100% of the time. I know people claim that making the change helps them shed enormous amounts of weight, but I’m not buying that as a long-term benefit. I prefer to remain balanced. Not only will it keep me sane, it will help reduce the homicide rate in my state, and every single place I visit. You’ve all been warned. LOL.

4. I am not a people person.

5. I hate tomatoes (I pick them off of everything and out of salads), but “gravy”, as it is known in my house (that’s 100% homemade sauce for all heathens buying it out of a jar. Worry not, in a pinch I do it too.), is one of the most awesome things in the world, and gets better every single time I have it or make it. It started with my Italian relatives and passed on to my Mom, who was not Italian, but made the most awesome Italian food in the world. Now it’s something my brother & I compete over to perfect. We plan on keeping the recipe in the family.

6.  Wearing perfume is like applying moisturizer to me. I always do it.

7. I never forget where I came from, or how far I’ve come in my life.

I now Nominate 15 bloggers:

1. Finding My Inner Courage

2. Fish of Gold

3. Fairytale Epidemic

4. The War In My Brain

5. Jodi Ambrose

6. JamesClaims

7. Not Taken, Not Available

8. Fibro Feist

9. Fibromyalgia This

10. BipolarMomLife

11. Making Lemonade Out of This Shit

12. The Wonder Twins

13. Headache Diaries

14. Black Box Warnings

15. Knocked Over By A Feather

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read my blog and realize that I’m a Bibliophile. I think any good writer is also a good reader, time permitting, but there’s always an exception to the rule. I, however, am probably a bit over the top where my reading is concerned. It’s extremely weird to me to go for any length of time, months for example, without reading.

I’ve got my Kindle Fire attached to my hip and when it’s charging, there’s generally a book in my hand…or I’m writing, cooking, or sleeping. No, it would not be the first time someone suggested I “get a hobby”. However, since my hobbies always turn into a full-time job, it’s probably best I just stick to books.

For the past three years I have challenged myself via Goodreads to read a certain amount of books. For one, it’s a great way to keep track of what you read on a yearly basis. Two, it’s fun. Three, it’s a nice way to challenge yourself. (If you decide to join, please feel free to send me a friend request.)

Last year I reached my 90 book goal, and I was far from trying to meet the deadline at the last minute. In fact, I originally started with a much lower number and slowly had to increase the number each time I passed a goal because I still had plenty left to read.

I read 80 books for the 2011 challenge. That initially seemed difficult, but I do manage to rack up the books pretty quickly. I even manage to squeeze in time to re-read an entire series of books (or three) on a semi-regular basis, which of course, does not count toward the challenge, but is still an awful lot of material to be reading.

This year I didn’t want to attempt to break the 90 book record and aim for 95 or even 100, but there’s a very strong possibility that I’ll go over the 60 I’ve committed myself to read. I am currently at 50, and it’s not even officially the middle of August. I’ve got five books on hold at my library, none of which have been released yet so I’ll be ahead of the pack on that front. I’ve also got several on deck as we speak. It’s rare when I am truly without something to read.

My re-reads over the past two weeks have been: Dead Witch Walking, The Good, The Bad, & The Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, and For A Few Demons More, by Kim Harrison. I love these books, some more than others. I stumbled upon this series of books one day in search for something new to read. The first three books were in a lovely Barnes & Noble display and the person on the display plugging her books was Jim Butcher, who is without question one of my absolute favorite authors. That was about eight years ago. I have read every single one of Kim’s books in the Hollows series, and clearly I’ve read them all more than once.

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In 2015 the series will come to a close and it will be a sad time for me and for everyone who loves these books. All good things must come to an end, but the Hollows is a must-read series, especially if you love and/or enjoy urban fantasy. It will make you laugh out loud, cry, cheer, and think. It’s been an extremely interesting journey from Dead Witch Walking to the most recent book, Ever After, which was released at the beginning of this year. On a very positive note, Kim has always been amazingly kind to me on Facebook, which I find incredibly sweet and will never forget about her. She doesn’t have to say a word or respond to anything, and yet, she does. That says a lot about her as a person, and it’s something I respect and admire. Her blog, which is also on WordPress, can be found here: http://kimharrison.wordpress.com/.

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I finished reading Affliction a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read the 20+ books that come before it, take a pass. If you have, and you’ve stuck with the series from the very beginning, you won’t want to miss this one. I was expecting to cringe my way through it, but I was nicely surprised to come away feeling good about it. I almost read it a second time, but since I really don’t have the time right now for that, it will have to wait a while. Maybe I’ll do it next year before the next book comes out.

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I recently finished reading Raylan by Elmore Leonard, which is loosely based off of Season 2 of Justified, as well as an episode from Season 4 that was particularly laugh out loud hilarious. I laughed so hard I cried, and I’ve watched it several times for the additional laughs. The rest didn’t follow along with anything in particular and if it did, it was bits and pieces that were changed around, but a great deal of it was based on real people in Harlan County, Kentucky.

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If you’re not a fan of the show or you’ve never heard of it or seen it, you’re probably living under a rock, and thus may only be able to appreciate the book if you’ve read the other two books that feature the Raylan Givens character, which is brilliantly brought to life on screen by the amazingly talented Timothy Olyphant. Tim breathes so much life and humor into the character, and as a fan of his already, I went into the pilot episode of Justified not knowing anything about the character and immediately became hooked. I own each season on DVD, and there’s no higher compliment I can pay a show than that. If I take the time to pre-order it a good year in advance, you know I’m crazy about it.

Justified has received seven Primetime Emmy Award nominations since its inception. That’s not a lot considering how amazing the show is, but I’m still extremely proud of each one. The show has an amazing cast of characters.

The series received its first nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music (I LOVE this song! You will always hear me singing it whenever the show is on.). For the second season, it received four nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards: Timothy Olyphant for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (I’m not sure who I have to kill for him to win, but I am more than willing to do it.), Walton Goggins for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (The same applies here.), Margo Martindale for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and Jeremy Davies for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, with Margo Martindale winning, quite deservedly. I cried when she accepted the award. She is downright incredible. For the third season, it received two nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, with Jeremy Davies winning for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (he’s truly hilarious), and a nomination for Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series. I know this show will continue to shine, awards or no awards.

I’d forgotten that I’d read only part of Raylan when it was released in February 2012. I was probably distracted at the time since Season 3 was in full swing. I decided to re-visit it so I wouldn’t miss anything, and got an immense kick out of it. It is brilliant in a way that only Elmore Leonard can deliver.

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What else is on my current reading list? Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes, Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill, and Graveyard Child by M.L.N. Hanover. These books are all drastically different from one another, which gives me the freedom to jump from one to the other if I find my interest is lagging or I’m too tired to follow anything complex.

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The Beautiful Creatures novels are far better in book format than the film version. Key characters were cut entirely from the movie, which was horribly disappointing seeing as they were the best characters, and the richer characters they kept in the film were incredibly dull on screen, so if you’ve been wanting to see the movie, skip it and read the books.

Yes, it’s a good “young adult” series, but I’m an adult-adult and I’m still following through. I don’t think it’s one of those things where you need to worry about it being “age appropriate” or not. It’s something a 12 year old could read, but they might not get the gist of it or the nuances you get as a reader over age 20.

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The Seven Daughters of Eve is about genetic ancestry. If you’re trying to trace your ancestry or you’re simply interested in how it’s done on a scientific level, this book is for you. I have very rich ancestry that I am deeply connected to on a level most people are not. This book will take me a while to read, but it’s definitely a must-read.

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Beyond Belief is about Jenna Miscavige Hill’s escape from Scientology. I generally roll my eyes when anyone says anything in regard to Scientology, but I have to admit that I am intrigued that so many high-ranking members are leaving “the church” and continue to do so. The level of brain-washing that Jenna talks about in this book is enough to make any free-thinking individual cringe. As an educated woman, I’ve never been one for anything that feels “cult-ish”, and I’ve never been a very good follower. Hell, there are times where I have serious issues with organized religion and the people that blindly follow it, as well as the message it sends all across the board. However, I think anybody willing to walk away from what they know in their heart is wrong deserves credit for it. It could not have been an easy journey. I find it incredibly scary, creepy, and just plain disturbing what “the church” does, all the while claiming not to have any part in it, to those who leave. They do everything within their considerable power to discredit the honesty of those who leave. Clearly they wouldn’t all have the same story to tell if something extremely bizarre wasn’t going on within the organization. I will never be able to call it a religion with a straight face.

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Graveyard Child is the 5th book in the Black Sun’s Daughter series created by M.L.N. Hanover (A pseudonym of fantasy author Daniel Abraham). This series is one of the most original I have ever read, and I read pretty heavily on the dark urban fantasy front. This book is fan-freaking-tastic. It’s a fast read and highly entertaining, but if you’re going to check it out, start from the beginning by picking up a copy of Unclean Spirits. This is a series I happened upon, but it has been a very happy accident. This is a very unique story that I can’t help, but thoroughly enjoy.

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Ok, now it’s your turn. What are you reading? What genres do you enjoy the most and why? Hit the comment button and lets discuss it all.

The ABC Award

Thank you to Fish of Gold for kindly bestowing this award upon me.

The rules of this award are:

  1. Add the ABC logo to your blog. (You can find the logo in my About section, ’cause I’m lazy.)
  2. ABC about yourself using one word or phrase.
  3. Nominate however many blogs you wish.
  4. Let the recipient know via a link in their comments.

Armed

Brunette

Classy

Dangerous

Engaging

Friend

Gem

Humorous

Intuitive

Just

Knives

Loyal

Motivated

Notorious

Opals

Persistant

Quiet

Real

Sleep deprived

Tenacious

Unyielding

Vivid

Weird enough to always be interesting

Xanax (Which I do not use, but it was the only thing that came to mind for some reason.)

You Only Live Nine Lives (I was going to say twice, but I like nine better. =P)

Zen

Nominating: 8 bloggers because it’s a good, even number.

1) prayingforoneday.wordpress.com

Shaun is always kind enough to chat with me and nominate me for awards, this is my chance to do the same.

2) fairytaleepidemic.wordpress.com

Britt is one of my cheerleaders who always makes me smile. I’m seriously going to have to get her cute pom poms. LOL.

3) findingmyinnercourage.wordpress.com

Dawn is a kind, generous inspiration and we are becoming true friends. That’s important to me.

4) High, High, Higher

I adore Lillian. She is the first person to ask me to Guest Blog and I have accepted. I’m working on something pretty fantastic.

5) knockedoverbyafeather.wordpress.com

Mer is SO funny, but underneath the sass and snark is a good person and that shines through. *Hugs*

6) mentalinthemidwest.wordpress.com

Smart, hilarious, and SO brilliant. This is a chick I really like.

7) Cupcake Crusaders

What is more cheerful than awesome cupcakes? Seriously, reward yourself right now!!

8) Seth Snap

Photography at its finest.