Revisiting the Classics: To Kill a Mockingbird

to kill a mockingbird

We all had to read in high school and I appreciated it then but rereading it made me realize why this book is worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.  I remember after high school catching To Kill a Mockingbird references in unexpected places and being glad that I had taken the time to read it.  What are some of those unexpected references?  In Mr. Deeds there are several references to To Kill a Mockingbird, from falling out of Boo Radley’s apple tree, to the names Mr./Mrs. Finch/Atticus, to a statement a character says “It’s not right! It’s not right!”

What I love about it is that it is from an eight year old girl’s perspective, and not some prissy little girl who is afraid to get dirty.  Instead, it is a spunky little girl who would fight you in a minute (if her daddy wasn’t looking) and one that prefers trousers to a poofy-tulle-filled dress.  Scout is by far my favorite character.  This book just really touches on how innocent children are and that prejudice isn’t something children are born with.  The book makes me think about morals and how I would respond to my child if they asked me the say questions that Scout asks Atticus.  In general, I love Atticus as a father figure and I think that the Finch family dynamic is what makes this book so lovable.  I highly recommend this book to anyone that has not read it and a reread to anyone that has.

Courage.  Family.  Honor.  Curiosity.  Prejudice.  Ignorance.  Loss.

This book covers them all.

Book Review: Prime Deception

prime deceptionI just got back from a trip to Texas and have a book to report on!  I like to take advantage of the time I spend in the air, so for my travels I chose to read Prime Deception by Carys Jones.  I was actually contacted by the author to read the book and write about what my thoughts were.  So here is what I thought about Prime Deception (spoilers ahead):

The book is all about uncovering the details of the alleged suicide of Ms. Lorna Thomas.  A young and beautiful intern that is drawn to the power and charisma of the Deputy Prime Minister who engages in a forbidden affair with him.  The affair is eventually broken off and months later, Lorna is found dead, apparently by her own will she has driven herself into a tree.  With the news of the his mistress’s death the Deputy Prime Minister is shaken to his core.  Could she really have killed herself?  Is it his fault?  Did he really know her as a person?  He is left with so many questions and is wrecked with grief and guilt.

I would normally not give away so much of the book but its hard to review without giving some details away.  For me this book was ok.  It is more of a romance novel than a mystery thriller.  I did spend a lot of time when I was reading the book, deciding who I thought would have killed Lorna if it wasn’t suicide (which I never really thought it was). I was compelled to keep reading for two reasons: I wanted to know who killed Lorna and I wanted to learn more about a secondary character, Laurie, Lorna’s twin sister.

This character was important to me particularly because I have a twin sister who I love very much and feel that she is very much a part of what makes me, me.  She truly completes me.  Without her I wouldn’t be the same.  Therefore when Lorna’s twin, Laurie, shows up looking for answers I can totally relate to how hard that it would be to lose your twin sister.  When you are a twin you share almost all your special moments together which links you in a way different from other siblings.  If Laurie was not in the book I am not completely sure I would have finished the book, but if you like harlequin romance this book may be for you.  I personally wish that it would have focused more on mystery than romance, as the beginning of the book is pretty compelling.  So there you have it.  That’s the deets on Prime Deception.

DIY: Cupcake Topper/Favor Tag Tutorial

Alright, I promised another tutorial on cupcake toppers.  The original tutorial showed how to take anything a book, printed paper cup, etc. and make it into a cupcake topper.  You can check out that tutorial here.

For the cupcake toppers I made at Landon’s Second birthday party, the process is quite simple for the construction part.  Designing them on the computer in photoshop is a whole another story.  If you want to skip the hard part, I sell digital download/printable cupcake toppers at my Etsy shop: HoneysuckleAndLace.

Here is a refresher of what his pirate themed birthday party cupcake toppers looked like:

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Alright and on to the how-to part….

  1. After designing my cupcake toppers I printed them out of card stock.  When I designed them I kept in mind how big my craft circle punch cutters were.  I used two different sized circle punches: 2 inch and 1.5 inch.  I used two different sized so I could have a 3-D or layered cupcake topper.  Below the chevron paper was used for the background and the round circles the front of the cupcake topper.cupcake-topper-tutorial-1
  2. Punch out your circles.cupcake-topper-tutorial-2
  3. Build your topper.  This is where I first attached foam (to make the topper layered) to the back of smaller circle.  Then I attached the front circle to the background circle using a glue dot (Glue dots not pictured below).  There are also glue dots that are made like double-sided tape which would have been great for this project but I didn’t have any on hand.  cupcake-topper-tutorial-3
  4. Attach toothpick or lollipop stick and backer.  I used tape to secure the toothpick and a glue dot to attach a white backer (2 inch circle)  to the back so the tooth pick wasn’t visible.  You do not have to put a backer on but I had time and enough card stock to do it, so I did.cupcake-topper-tutorial-4 cupcake-topper-tutorial-5

If you were making a Favor Tag:

  1. Punch out circle.
  2. Punch a hole for ribbon or twine by using an old-fashion 1 hole-punch.
  3. Thread ribbon of twine through tag and attach it favor bag.

That’s all Folks!  Thanks for stopping by!

 

That Time I Danced at an Indian Wedding

Where do I begin?  Let’s see here…

One of my best friends (who is Indian) recently got married to her Greek love.  It totally was a BIG FAT INDIAN GREEK wedding.  I was a bridesmaid and truly I have never been more honored or excited to be a part of a wedding.  Learning all the different cultures and getting to participate in so many things really made the experience special for me, not to mention, getting to spend time with all my besties.

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Me and the Bride!

I got to get tatted up with the bride(mehndi)  and learned that in some cultures it is tradition for the bride to have the groom’s name hidden in their henna, on the wedding day the husband will find his name, hidden among the beautiful, intricate, designs.  In another Indian tradition the single women have their henna drawn on from the same tube as the bride, this is supposed to help them find a good husband.

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My mehndi
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The Bride and Groom at the Mehndi! Look how happy they are!
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Can you find the groom’s name?

I had so much fun at the mehndi!  It was probably the coolest thing I’ve got to do for a pre-wedding festivity.  I was so paranoid I was going to mess by mehndi up that I barely slept the night I got it done (I was told that it is darker and has better color the longer you keep it on)!

Another thing that was very new to me was performing an Indian dance at the wedding reception.  You can view it below.  I look a hot mess but I tried my best and had a lot of fun (but at the time I had mono so I think I did pretty well considering).

 More Pics!

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Before the Greek Gala
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The Barat
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The Barat. The Groom making his way to the wedding ceremony.
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After the ceremony!


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Before the Reception. Isn’t the bride gorgeous!
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At the reception. We all had on Indian clothes for the wedding reception! They were so beautiful and they were all supplied by one of my besties!

 

Donate your Wedding Dress to A Great Cause: Angel Gowns

Hello everyone!  Recently my husband discovered a wonderful program that re-purposes wedding gowns into tiny dresses for families that have lost a child while at the hospital.  These dresses are provided to grieving families in hopes that they will help provide comfort.  Giving a grieving family something beautiful for their loved one is a small gesture but I think it can help show them that their lost one was special.  These dresses are made with care and lots of love by volunteer seamstresses.

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Today I mailed my wedding dress off to the NICU Helping Hands’ Angel Gown Program.  I think this is a very special cause.  To learn more about the program click here.

The address to mail dresses is below:

NICU Helping Hands C/O Ideal Partners
6913 Camp Bowie BLVD Suite 181
Fort Worth, Texas 76116

They recommend removing the crinoline from the gown for easier shipping, wrinkling is not an issue, and they will accept gowns with stains because other parts of the gowns may be use-able.

Here is another article about this great cause!

Landon’s Second Birthday Party

This year Landon’s Birthday fell during a very crazy time for us.  There was sand soccer and one of my best friend’s wedding, where I happened to be a bridesmaid (post to come soon!).  Therefore, we kept Landon’s birthday party simple.  I asked myself the question, “If Landon could pick his birthday party theme what would HE choose?”  Not what theme do I think is adorable.  Then the answer became clear.  Anything that has to do with water.  What kid doesn’t enjoy water playtime in the summer?  I know for me and my twin sister, Nina, every birthday for us in elementary school included a water balloon fight!

With that decided, I just needed a few things to make his party work…friends, food, cupcakes, and a toddler pool!

To get all our friends there and to give it a special touch, I made his invitations from scratch.  I really hadn’t nailed down his party theme at that point so this is what I came up with:

Landon's-bday-invite

Some of the other details were:

Landon’s Smash Cake (this is before I piped the frosting around the bottom).  Which Landon chose to not smash because he loved his new toys so much he couldn’t spare time for cake!

Landon's-smash-cakeCupcakes with Handmade Cupcake Toppers (how to coming soon).  You can also check out this post to get a general idea here.

cupcakes

 

Balloon Backdrop (as you can see the party started going in the pirate theme direction).  you can learn how to make one here.

balloon-backdrop

 

We also got photo props for the balloon backdrop, but somehow we didn’t manage to get any pictures with the props!

The Jungle/Dino Pool

The kids just wanted to be in the water all day!  But who can blame them with a get-up like below.  I swear Landon kept walking us to the back door for days to get into his Jungle themed adventure pool.  This pool was awesome because water came out of the volcano and palm tree.  Also the dinosaur had balls you could toss in his mouth and then they would float in the pool.

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The Birthday Boy!!

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The Star Wars Lightsaber

Pretty cool toy, right.  He will not put it down.  And let’s just say this lets him let-out all that boy energy!

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And you can’t go wrong with an Avenger’s Tent with a crawl tunnel!

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Well those are the highlights!  We had so much fun and really enjoyed spending the time outside.  An extra bonus is the house stayed clean since we were outside most of the day!  I cannot believe he is already two!  Where does the time go?

 

 

Book Review: Starting Now

Starting-NowI found this book in one of my quick (or meant to be quick) trips to Walmart.  I actually found it when I was picking up items for Easter but didn’t get a chance to write about it until now.

This book called out to me because it starts off with Libby Morgan, a lawyer, walking into her boss’s office believing she is about to be made partner and being laid off instead.

This was something I could relate to.  I have been laid off and I know it can be devastating.  It took me by surprise because I was doing great work and had took on more responsibilities but sometimes layoffs happen and it is out of your control.  You have to get oven the shock and carry on.  Landon was 9 months old baby when it happened and I had no idea what I would do but you figure it out.  In the end it became a blessing because I didn’t miss his first steps and actually come to think of it, this blog was born during that time.

Anyway back to the book…

It was nice to kind of get caught up in Libby’s many emotions that she cycles through in her journey of figuring out what is next.  I think this book has some beautiful moments in it.  I will say that I do think the end was a little rushed and a little more time could have been taken to wrap up the character better, but I recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a quick read this summer.

Really the book is all about figuring out what’s next and knowing that life sometimes is messy and sometimes there is nothing we can really do but let it play out and move on.

Long story short.  I would recommend this book as a summer read.  It’s not going to change your life but it is a fun read.

What to wear Wednesday: Floral Dresses

It’s what to wear Wednesday and here are two summer looks that are perfect for your beach trip.  Each can be dressed up or down depending of accessories.  One thing I love about dresses is that you just pull it off the hanger and go.  No need to worry about coordinating a top and bottom.

Hello Vacay!

 

 

Reverse Wednesday

This is one of those things that I believe most anyone could manage to do. Well at least I hope so. It kind of surprises me how this did occur. I write it off as I was really tired and sort of busy that morning but who knows. I did manage to pass several mirrors and never notice what would be the talk of my coworkers later that day….

What am I talking about? Well I’ll tell ya.

I walked around all day a few Wednesdays ago with my shirt inside out. Luckily for me, my jacket was on the majority of the day. So I’m pretty sure while the jacket was on, no one was aware that I apparently have problems dressing myself.

My wardrobe malfunction was discovered by the same coworker that saw my size sticker on my cardigan a while back. While she was helping me with a project I decided to take my jacket off because I was hot. Yup, that’s when my little secret, even to myself, was out. My lovely coworker looked at me and politely told me that she believed my shirt was on inside out as she could see a tag at the side seam of my shirt AND one by my collar! For the time I was at my desk, everyone around had heard our exchange, so I left my jacket off till I cooled off. I told my coworker the next time I went to the restroom I would flip my shirt inside out or outside in, whichever would right it.

What is sad, however…is that I went to the restroom multiple times that day and NEVER did remember to fix my shirt. At some point I got cold and had put my jacket back on which means most people weren’t privileged to the fact that I dressed myself like a toddler.

It still surprises me at how much I was embarrassed, yet I never corrected the problem. I guess I was really wrapped up in work that day!

I am giving myself the challenge of not having anymore wardrobe issues while at work. One would think that this would be an easy think to do. But I can never be so sure now!

Books to Read: The Maze Runner Series

The-Maze-Runner

Looking for some summer reads this summer?  If you liked the Hunger Games you will like the Maze Runner.  It you thought the Capitol was cruel is the Hunger Games just wait to you read about WICKED.

This series follows a teenage boy named Thomas.  It starts with him waking in up in a dark elevator ascending into blackness.  He can’t remember his past.  The only thing he can remember is that his first name is Thomas.  He is about to become a trivial part in the Gladers escape to freedom from a man-made maze that they have somehow found themselves it.  Can they escape?  If they do escape will they really be free?  Find out more my devouring this quick paced book.  Before you know it you’ll be finished with the series!

This trilogy includes The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, and The Death Cure.

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