December Photo a Day Challenges

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Fun, photos | 1 comment

December 2016 Photo a Day Challenges

I have found a way to make daily photo prompts work well for me.

No single photo a day prompt list fully works for me. I choose to save several lists and choose one prompt each day from among those lists. I’m happy to say that I love this approach and it works great for me. I highly recommend it.

Here is a sample of the photo a day lists I’ll be using for December:

(click on the images to see larger versions)

If committing to a month at a time feels like too much, there are other weekly and daily options available on Instagram
There are several Instagram accounts that feature a new theme every day or every week. I follow these accounts and every once in a while they save me when I just don’t like any of the other prompts. These are all worth following on Instagram.

As you can tell, I am a huge fan of using prompts for daily photos because it helps make a personal photo journal and also makes me look for inspiration throughout my daily life. It helps me to notice and appreciate the little moments and things every day.

I’ve been doing this since March of 2012 so I now have over 4 years of daily photos.

Follow my Daily Photos on Instagram

These are the most liked of my November 2016 Photo a Day photos:

If you’re not doing a Photo a Day challenge I hope you’ll consider it because it’s a fun way to have a photo journal. If you are, great! Keep up with it. You won’t be sorry. I highly recommend the pick from many prompts each day approach.

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The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in 2016, 3.5 stars, Book Review | 1 comment

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade Fiction
Format: Paperback and ebook
Series: #1 in the Hero’s Guide series
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 438
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change.
Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, the princes stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it’s up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

My Thoughts:
I’m not even sure where I first heard about this series but the idea of a fractured fairy tale parody featuring the princes from four of the most famous fairy tales sounded fun.

It was definitely fun and I’ll be getting the next book (The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle) from the library soon.

The four princes are rather annoyed that no one knows their names because the bards called all of them Prince Charming in their songs. As they meet up and decide to rescue Cinderella (who needs little or no rescuing) from a witch who is plotting her Supreme Scheme for Infamy.

I enjoyed the princes and their varying degrees of ineptitude.

All the princes had their issues—Frederic was easily intimidated, Liam’s ego could stand to be reined in a bit, and Gustav could use some impulse control—but Duncan was flat-out strange.

This was just a fun adventure and it manages to parody many of the classic fairy tale tropes but in an entertaining and funny way. It’s got plot complications galore and the illustrations by Todd Harris just add to the fun.

It was just the escapist adventure that I needed. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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What’s in a Name Challenge 2017

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, What's in a Name | 1 comment

The 2017 What’s in a Name? Challenge

This is my favorite Reading Challenge and the one I have done every year since it first started.

The Tenth Annual What’s in a Name Challenge

What's In A Name 2017

What’s In A Name 2017

Charlie at The Worm Hole hosts this one.

For the What’s in a Name Challenge participants are asked to read books whose titles fit a selection of categories. It’s not a huge commitment and I usually manage to check off most of the categories randomly without even trying. There are usually a couple of categories that I end up needing to actively search for a book but that’s always a fun search and I’ve found some real gems along the way. This year I picked up both Drinking in America and Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table at least partly because of this challenge

The 2017 categories are as follows:

The basics
The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories. (Examples of books you could choose are in brackets – translations and other languages most definitely count!):

  • A number in numbers (84, Charing Cross Road; 12 Years A Slave; 31 Dream Street)
  • A building (The Old Curiosity Shop; I Capture The Castle; House Of Shadows; The Invisible Library; Jamaica Inn)
  • A title which has an ‘X’ somewhere in it (The Girl Next Door; The Running Vixen)
  • A compass direction (North and South; Guardians Of The West; The Shadow In The North; NW)
  • An item/items of cutlery (The Subtle Knife; Our Spoons Came From Woolworths)
  • A title in which at least two words share the same first letter – alliteration! (The Great Gatsby; The Luminous Life Of Lilly Aphrodite; Gone Girl; The Cuckoo’s Calling)

As usual I’ve tried to include some easy categories and some not so. Remember the titles I’ve given here are only examples, you can by all means use them if you want to but it’s not necessary. There are plenty of other books that will fit the categories and you may have some in mind already or even some on your shelves you can read.

For more details check out the sign up post at The Worm Hole by clicking on the image above.

Half the fun of this challenge is looking for books that might work. I’m looking forwatd browsing my TBR lists to find books that fit for the 2017 categories.

Hope you decide to join in the fun

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Weekend Update – The November 27, 2016 Edition

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in Currently, Weekend Update | 6 comments

Weekend Update

Currently //

Time // 8:05

Place // My recliner in the family room.

Eating // The last of the pumpkin pie. It’s excellent breakfast food.

Drinking // Stumptown Italian Roast

Reading // I’m currently in the middle of a binge through several volumes of the Chew series by John Layman. It’s darkly humorous and downright weird but also hilarious.

Listening // Christmas Music!!

Also Listening // My current audiobook is As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes. Narrated by Cary Elwes and several other people involved in the making of the movie. It’s fabulous. I plan to force encourage The Hubster to listen to it and then watch the movie again.

Watching // College Football Sunday. It’s the best college football show of all.

Pondering // Christmas gifts. I don’t have a lot of Christmas shopping to do. I only fill stockings for The Hubster, my brother and The Hubster’s sister. The tricky part is that only to the gifts have to be either good or fun but they also have to fit into the stockings

Avoiding// Thinking about going back to work tomorrow. I worked from home last week and had both Thursday and Friday off as holidays. Tomorrow is going to be annoying,

Making // Another baby afghan. I finished one just before Thanksgiving and I need to finish this one before Christmas

Planning // To finish up any chores and errands I have to do today in time to get in some good reading time before Thankfully Reading Weekend wraps up.

Thinking about // What I will choose as my word for 2017. For 2016 I chose Focus. It was the first year I chose a word and it was a good experience. I need to start narrowing down a word for 2017.

What are you reading? What are you listening to? What are you doing?

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Thankfully Reading Weekend 2016

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Fun | 1 comment

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2016


It’s Thankfully Reading Weekend

My friend Jenn at Jenn’s Bookshelves has hosted this reading event on Thanksgiving weekend for years. I’ve never been able to participate because traditionally it’s been a busy weekend for us.

This year it turns out that we have less plans than normal over Thanksgiving weekend. Even the weather is telling me it need to read. We usually do all of our Christmas decorating this weekend but this year the outdoor decorations are going to have to wait until it’s not raining (well not raining so hard anyway).

Guess I’m just going to have to get some extra reading in this weekend.

Thanks Jenn!

If you want to participate click on the image above. It’ll take you to Jenn’s sign up post.

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