Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Tattoo Chronicles

The Tattoo Chronicles
By Kat Von D

240 pages

Grade B

As previously stated in past reviews, I watch a lot of reality TV. One of the shows that I watch is LA Ink, which is a show that stars Kat Von D owner of High Voltage Tattoo. I started watching this show about a year ago, and the seasons that I missed or didn't complete, I just got from Netflix. I have enjoyed the show, especially when they feature the tattoos, and not so much the drama that they have created. Anyway, Kat wrote this book, and because I felt like as a dedicated fan, I needed to pick it up.

So the cool thing about this book was it's layout. I really thought it was neat and creative. I also really liked the personalization of the book. I was a tad disappointed because I was expecting more in depth thoughts and stories behind the tattoos, instead it was more focused on her relationship with Nikki. I also wished that more of the entries were about her more famous friends as opposed to the average joe client. That could have been for a few different reasons, the reason I like the most is that maybe she couldn't get clearance from some of the average joe clients to publish their stories, but I am afraid that it is because she mostly tattoo'd her famous friends. Does that make her to "Hollywood", I don't know.

I enjoyed that I feel like I got to know Kat a bit more from this book, and you know, she is pretty down to earth. I also liked her photography shown in the book, and it was interesting to see some of the collections that she has.

And speaking of Kat being totally down to earth, I got to meet her tonight at her book signing. I have never been to a book signing before so this was a really fun experience. The book signing was at 6, I got there at 330. It wasn't really that bad of a wait. I had my daughter with me until 5pm when my husband came to pick her up. I am proud to say that I got numerous compliments about how great she was behaving, which makes me happy, because maybe we are doing something right as parents.

The best part about meeting her was I mentioned to her that I remembered her tweet a few weeks ago about how she heard a saying "This too shall pass" and I had tweeted back to her with a picture of my right wrist where I have that saying tattoo'd. Well she never tweeted back, but tonight I replayed that, and she gave me like three more hugs and told me how much she loved it and how cool it was and how I need to remember to live by it. In other words, she rocked.

On top of how how cool it was that Kat was there, Rooftop and Dan Smith were there too. They are WAY hotter in person, and really awesome and down to earth. And I was lucky enough to get pictures with all of them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Little Women

Little Women
By Louisa Mary Alcott

464 pages
19 hours 20 minutes listening time

First half Grade B-
Second half Grade B+

I have been listening to this book for months, and months,
and MONTHS. I started it about 4 months ago, and I really had a hard time getting into it. I won't lie. I also had a VERY hard time with the very proper English, but hey, I'm a girl of the 2000's, even though I was born in the 80's but whatever. Either way, I had a hard time with it.

I added this book because when I was a little wee reader, my dad worked nights. But he was/is an awesome dad and even though he couldn't be there some nights because he was working on making a better life for us, he got an awesome babysitter for us at nights. Her name was Louise and she was a great person. Just a genuine great human being. She passed away when I was little and what I is that she fell and broke her hip. The little family she had, got her to the hospital and that is where she eventually passed away. However before she passed she touched the hearts of everyone on our block. When she passed, her family came and took what they wanted from the house and left the rest for us to rummage through. I only remember that it was raining that day and all her stuff was outside being rained on. I was able to save three things from that day; Little Women, Little Men and The Giving Tree. I still own all three books to this day. My dad got a little "everyday prayer" case and I can't remember what my brother got, but this is all I have left other than the memories I carry of dear Louise. The pictures here are of the book that I saved.

Before I actually give a review of this book though, I will have to say I think I am the ONLY person I know, well one of the only persons, that hasn't read this book. So many people I know read it when they were younger, and I really hope Lucy might want to read it while she is younger as opposed to almost 30, like me.

Ok so off to the review, and I really hope I don't spoil any of it for people who haven't read it.
So anyway, I think this book is somewhat similar to Anne of Green Gables, where everyone is just NICE and GOOD to each other. So many people pass through my day where I just want to shout out to them, DID YOU PARENTS NOT TEACH YOU ANYTHING???? Everyone was just so polite in this book. Now I know I might not be the nicest person, nor the most polite, but I will tell you, I try because I would rather be like the characters in this book as opposed to anyone on TV or even in real life.

Everyone that I talk to about this book loves Jo, but I am going to go against the grain and saying that Jo was not my favorite. I think my favorite was Beth, she just touched my heart and I was so sad at one part that I was crying in my car on my way to pick up my daughter.

And Laurie and Amy, can we talk about them? Except I don't even know what to say. I don't know if I like them at all. I mean as individuals, they are wonderful, however together, I am just unsure how I feel about that whole situation. I really wanted it to be Jo. It just seemed to be where they were headed...why did Jo have to make the choices that she did. And speaking of Jo....Jo and the professor...REALLY? I mean I totally saw it coming after she turned down Laurie, but it wasn't any less disappointing or odd for me.

The part that really captured me was when Meg is having problems with the twins and her marriage starts falling apart. It is SO easy for a new mom to totally wrap herself around her kid and not thinking twice. I am pretty sure when Meg goes and talks to her mom about her situation that had to have been my very most favorite part of the whole book. The mom gives the best advise and handled it perfectly.

There was so much about this book that I didn't know how I felt about, but you know, it all worked out. Jo was such a great character, but I won't lie, Beth was the one that touched my heart. She is the one that when I look at life say, maybe it won't always be like this, just LIVE life. LOVE life. ENJOY life.

I should have finished this book a long time ago. If I could have skipped the first 10 hours, then I probably would have finished it sooner. But either way, I did it, and this book really, truly, honestly contributed to the completion of "what books will complete my life" list. Although it took me FOREVER, it will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The following pictures are from books my cousin sent me. These books belonged to my grandma, whom passed away, and she had given them to my cousin. When my daughter was born, my cousin sent them to me to have. When my daughter is older, I will give them to her. I have two copies of a book that helped change my life. The fact that they are from two people that have helped shaped my life, means so much more. Now, I listened to the audio, because, you know how I do,but mostly because the copies that I own are so old, and have so much meaning to me that I couldn't bare to open them and ruin their pages with my finger smudges.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I am the Messenger

I am the Messenger
By Markus Zusak

368 pages
8 hours and 38 minutes listening time

Grade B

I don't really know where to start with this book. I have heard so much awesomeness about it, and it was GREAT, however not as good as The Book Thief.

Ed is just passing through life. He has no goals, no ambitions, and the girl he love only likes him as a friend. One day an Ace shows up in his mailbox with three addresses. As he goes to each address listed, he sees something that needs to be fixed. Each issue that Ed finds, he grows as a person.

The story is really nice, it is heart wrenching in others. I won't lie, I cried, a few times. However I did not bawl like a little baby girl as I did in The Book Thief. I might even say this book was mildly life changing. Either way, it's worth the read.

And sorry this review isn't very detailed, one I am exhausted and probably should have just waited until tomorrow, and two, if I say too much, it will give a lot away and I don't like to ruin things.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Skinny Italian Night 2

So tonight I made Pork Chops Alla Salvia with a side of Rosemary Potatoes. I also sauted some garlic cloves in olive oil.

Hello, look at those potatoes, they are amazing.

So the pork chops called for some of Teresa's Quickie Tomato Sauce. It's really super simple, like way more simple than I was expecting. The issue I came across is that I didn't think it was seasoned enough. I am not HUGE fan of tomatoes and I especially am not a fan of red sauce, but I still gave it a try.

The first thing I learned was that when I was heating the oil to start the sauce, I should have put the tomatoes in right away, instead I waited until the oil was really hot, and when I poured in the tomatoes, they splattered EVERYWHERE. And since I don't learn from my mistakes, it happened again when I added the tomato sauce to the pork chops. So lesson learned, I won't be doing that again.

The other great thing about dinner was that Lucy ate it. She didn't seem to want anything to do with the noodles last night, but she ate all the potatoes tonight, but she didn't eat the meat, but she has been having a little bit of a meat diversion anyway.

I was going to take pictures of the finished product, but Matt and I ate it before I remembered I needed to do that. There was only one other issue with dinner, there was only enough left overs for one lunch tomorrow. Matt and I almost had to box it out on who got it. I only won because I told him since I cooked it, I got the left overs to which he said "well I helped" to which I answered "you opened the can of tomato paste" to which he repeated, "well I helped" and we went back and forth for about 10 minutes until he finally conceded and now I get awesome lunch tomorrow!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Skinny Italian

Skinny Italian: Eat It and Enjoy it Live La Bella Vita and Look Great, Too!
By Teresa Giudice

256 pages
not available on audio

Grade A

I am not going to lie, I watch reality TV. I am not proud of this, but well, it is what it is. One of the shows that I watch is The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I also watch Jersey Shore, American Idol, LA Ink, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which I will tell you is NOTHING compared to NJ.

ANYWAY, in the last season of TRHNJ, Teresa talked about this book, as well as at the reunion. I also follow her on Twitter, and she mentions it a time or two on there. So, yes, I am a tad obsessed, however not enough to pay attention to smut magazines that are slandering her marriage. So ok I went off on another tangent.

I decided I needed her book and when I saw it was 20% off at Target, it was an impulse buy. One of the best impulse purchases that I think I have ever made. I love the little tid bits from Joe, her husband, and I really enjoyed the part where Teresa talks a little about her fashion background and how you need to carry yourself with confidence etc.

So I finished this book in two days, and decided that for the rest of the year, every night I am going to cook from her book. This is exciting for a number of reasons. Reason #1, I normally only cook the same 5 things over and over again. Reason #2, I LOVE cooking and am always looking for new recipes, however I never really cook them more than once. Reason #3, this gives me more of an incentive to actually cook outside my comfort bubble.

Tonight the first recipes that I made was Gorgeous Garlic Shrimp and Sin-Free Linguine with Parsley Sauce. Unfortunately, I am not going to post the recipes on here, because they are in the book, and you should get the book! However, the two that I did tonight were incredible. I will say, I probably need to work on the sauce for the linguine because it is made from red potatoes (which is so incredible) but I think I needed to thin it out a little more. However it was incredible, as you can see from my husband pictures below,

Here are a couple action shots of my ingredients.

Of course wine is one of the biggest ingredients :)

And as you can see my extremely handsome husband is totally enjoying it :)

Anyway, Skinny Italian, awesome!