To leave a comment

To leave a comment, please click on the title of the post to leave or read all comments and replies. Thank you :)

Be sure to scroll down the page today

Be sure to scroll down the page

There are TWO posts today...Sorry about that :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 2013 Pin It and Do It Challenge

As I am sure you know, this challenge is hosted by Trish from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity.
The link up page is here.

I didn't sign up for a level this time, because I already had some pins I had done in the past but never posted.  However I did a few new ones too.  So here we go!

In my efforts to be healthy, I wanted to try tofu.  Tofu is really not that bad.  Not pretty, but not bad.  It takes on the flavors of whatever you put it in.  So I decided to try Buffalo Style Roasted Tofu.  Sorry but apparently I did not snap any pictures, but click the pin to see what it looks like.

Here's my pin
And the recipe/website/pin I pinned

The tofu was not bad, however this was too hot for me.  I'm not that into spicy, and this made me sweat, probably because I used Tabasco sauce and hot sauce.  Oops!  I only used half the tofu, so I used the other half in a homemade roasted red pepper sauce over whole wheat pasta.  It was tasty!

The next pin was Healthy Cookies:

Here's my pin
And the recipe/website

Looks great, even my oven mitt is happy but these were horrible!  They tasted like baked banana and oatmeal.  I rather have an unhealthy cookie because you ain't fooling anyone with these.  I couldn't even give these away at work!

Next, up marinated chicken from the Food Network:

My pin
And the original recipe/pin

Yeah, yeah, yeah I should know how to marinate chicken, but I don't.  So I searched around and found this recipe.  This came out quite well, except apparently I'm not a fan of rosemary.  Otherwise it was delicious.

Lastly was a breakfast recipe, Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal:

My pin
And the original recipe/pin

There are several versions of this recipe depending on your choice of fruit.  I've tried mango and pineapple.  Both were awesome and provided a great change up for breakfast.  I would highly recommend trying this.

That makes four pins.  Not bad if I do say so myself :)

 © Jenny Girl - 2013 "All Rights Reserved"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

From Goodreads:

Jack Audley has been a highwayman. A soldier. And he has always been a rogue. What he is not, and never wanted to be, is a peer of the realm, responsible for an ancient heritage and the livelihood of hundreds. But when he is recognized as the long-lost son of the House of Wyndham, his carefree life is over. And if his birth proves to be legitimate, then he will find himself with the one title he never wanted: Duke of Wyndham.

Grace Eversleigh has spent the last five years toiling as the companion to the dowager Duchess of Wyndham. It is a thankless job, with very little break from the routine... until Jack Audley lands in her life, all rakish smiles and debonair charm. He is not a man who takes no for an answer, and when she is in his arms, she's not a woman who wants to say no. But if he is the true duke, then he is the one man she can never have...

My Thoughts:

Romance book so don't expect a thesis paper here.  I picked this off the shelf because I needed something light and quick to read.  The Lost Duke fit the bill perfectly. The first few pages were a bit rough.  It felt like any other romance, and I was thinking, "Really? I already know who the lost duke is..come on Julia "  But then the story took a slight turn and during that the characters grew on me.

Grace is not a simpering perfect heroine, although she does have quite the sad back story and she works for a she devil, the Dowager Countess of Wyndham.  Grace is a very nice, intelligent, sharp witted young lady who deserves love.  Jack, the eventual object of said love, also has a sad back story and is a bit roguish but not overly so.  He is smart, snarky, and hot of course.  These two don't fall into bed right away, and there's some flirting and kissing before the big dance.  there was some dialogue on Grace's part that I thought was a bit much, but  now I realize it had to be a big concern for her, so it's acceptable.  

Others characters worth mentioning: Thomas the current Duke of Wyndham - meh.  Sometimes I liked sometimes I didn't, but he turned out okay by the end.  Quinn's next book in the series features Thomas, but I'm not overly impressed with him to want to read more of him.  As for the evil dowager, she was a sad case, and I don't know why she was so unhappy.  Would love to know what the bee is her bonnet.  She did start to work a nerve also, because no one wants to constantly read mean thins form a character  but that was her lot in this book.

Overall, The Lost Duke was an enjoyable, quick, and page turning read.  I wanted to know what was happening next, and when Grace and Jack were going to get together.  Perfect fun book, for when you want something light.

Publisher: Avon
Paperback 371 pages
Book Source: my shelves via Paperbackswap

Read as part of Naida's Romance Reading Challenge 2013.

 © Jenny Girl - 2013 "All Rights Reserved"

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's my Birthday! Throw your hands up!

Today is the big day….I turned 40.  And I’m ok with it.  I know this number comes with all kinds of trappings and comments, but seriously, its all good. I just can’t quit believe that is my age.  Where the heck does the time go?  I remember my parents turning 40, and thinking what’s the big deal?  They are still young.

I've never been one to freak out about my age, although 35 was a doozy for some reason.  When I was younger I was always lying about my age.  When I was 13 I said I was 16, so much so that my friends, who were older, actually thought I was 16.  HA!  Then there are the years I said I was 21 to get into a club.  I’m sure there are some of you that can relate J

I've gotten a lot of clarity over the past few years, so 40 is no big deal to me.  I will still be crazy, goofy, and loud until the day I die, no matter what my age may be.  Since I never post many pics of myself,  I thought I would provide a few of me through the years to celebrate this big occasion.

It's baby Jenny!

High School Senior Jenny.  Love the 80's spiral perm hair!!
Right around 30.


Me today on my 40th birthday!

Here's to hoping my 50th will be celebrated in the islands of Aloha!

© Jenny Girl - 2013 "All Rights Reserved"

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: It's May and we finally have some winners

Hey, hey, hey!  It's May and where does the time go?  Hope this finds you all doing well and enjoying whatever it is that you're into at the moment.  I was about to apologize for my lack of blogging but to be honest, you know what's up.  Life gets in the way, too often, and I can't blog.  No more apologies from me people.  Life is too short for that.

The semester is over and I am enjoying the wee bit of down time I have.  However, Summer II session will be here before I know it, and I don't want to procrastinate as usual.  So, slowly but surely I am getting stuff together.  This will be the second time for this class, and I tweak it each time.  These classes are a learning process for me as well.  We are also trying to develop a few new exam prep classes and that has kept me busy too.  The credentialing exam is definitely a right of passage and I think this last group took it too lightly.  They certainly learned their lesson!

On the bookish front, I am steadily going through and trying to digitize  for free, my paper TBR stacks.  That's a slow process, but very cleansing and necessary.  I have some reviews to write and ones I've already written to post, but some days I just don't have the blogging mojo.  I come home from work and nestle in with the puppy and husband, quite happily.  And that's a good thing!

On the knitting front, I cast on for another sweater.  Here's the photo that just called to me:

It's knit from the top down with the lace part being picked up later and knit sideways.  I love it!  And I had the perfect yarn for it, Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold, in a teal like color.  The yarn is a dream to work with.

I also almost finished a shawl but ran out of yarn, which sucks.  It's Malabrigo which is always hard to match up.  The shawl is red but tonal, and I am 4 rows away from finishing.  I was thinking of maybe completing in black, but my friend has a another red yarn that may work.  This was a risk I took so it's not a complete surprise, but it still sucks!

On TV front, I don't have much to say.  We watched The Following on Fox, and only stuck with it because we started it.  Not impressed.  Won't be tuning back in again.  It felt like Keystone Cops and convenient happenings every week.  Shame cause it started so strong.  Love Game of Thrones each week, but otherwise nothing is exciting me that much.  On the networks, I like Elementary, Person of Interest, NCIS and oh my I think that's it.  Arrow I watch on Hulu.

Warehouse 13 just came back, but that's on a short leash with me, and Defiance...haven't watched this week yet, but I'm not invested in any of the characters or the story.  It's kind of boring and if this week doesn't wow me, it's off the list.  Orphan Black, not completely sold and am not sure why.
And as for Doctor Who, as much as I love it, I think I'm falling out of love with show runner Steven Moffet.  I feel like he is trying to be super crafty with the whole Clara thing, which reminds me of the River Song arc.  I thought that ended kind of meh, so I'm on the fence with this Clara thing.  Plus I'm miffed that Captain Jack won't be back for the 50th Anniversary, per internet reports.   Really Steven?  Captain Jack is one of the most popular characters from the series and probably worked with River Song but no appearance?  Just saying enough with the trying to be too clever.

Wow, let me tell you how I really feel!  Sheesh that's enough rambling from me for this week.  but before I go, here are the winners from April's Culling of the Book Shelves are:

1st place: Charlotte - Indiscretion
2nd place: Anita Yancey - Blood Line

Drop me a line ladies and thanks to everyone for entering.  The new one will be up tomorrow.

© Jenny Girl - 2013 "All Rights Reserved"

May 2013 Culling of the Book Shelves

This month I have the following titles for you to choose from:

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover (book 1) and Hex in High Heels (book 4) by Linda Wisdom (2 book set)
Noble Cause by Jessica James

Here are the rules: 
  • U.S. addresses only and no P.O. Boxes.  (sorry!)
  • Leave a comment on this post with your email and your first and second choice of book(s) [no email address, no entry]
  • There will be two winners: 1st place will receive their first choice of book, and 2nd place will also get their first choice, unless it’s taken, thereby receiving their second choice of book.
  • Contest runs until midnight, EST, Friday, May 31, 2013

Good luck everyone!!!!

 © Jenny Girl - 2013 "All Rights Reserved"

Monday, May 6, 2013

TLC Tour Stop and Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

From the TLC Book Tour page:
Hardcover, 496 pages
Publisher: Harper (April 23, 2013)
Helene Wecker’s dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.
Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.
Meeting by chance, the two creatures become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.
Three Reasons Review:
1.) Reasons you chose this book 

I chose this book because of the exploration of Jewish and Syrian mythology, inclusion of the immigrant experience, and the ability to learn about many characters in each of the respective immigrant neighborhoods.  Plus the blurb sounded delightful and the cover is gorgeous!
2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book 

There are several reasons for liking this book.  The author melds Jewish and Syrian folklore together into a story about two people that become somewhat unlikely friends, Chava the Jewish golem and Ahmad the Syrian jinni.  However since both have their origins in myth, it’s more likely they would be friends, right?  Anyway, we read the same aspects of both Chava and Ahmad: their beginnings, how to came to be in New York, their wonder at these new discoveries of the world they live in, their limitations, hopes, fears, mistakes, and ultimately what kind of people they really are.  Along the way we also get to explore both the Jewish and Syrian immigrant neighborhoods they live in, each with their own set of characters.  I enjoyed this aspect, because it mirrors my corner of the world. 

Eventually Chava and Ahmad must band together if they are going to survive.  They share a common enemy who is treacherous and despicable.  I can’t say that I was surprised at who it turned out to be, but the tale between the enemy and Ahmad is heartbreaking.  The enemy deserves everything he gets.  The way in which that thread of the story concludes was a great payoff.

The world in which all of this takes place was expertly described by Wecker.  I smelled the coffee in Maryam’s shop, felt the closeness of the immigrant sheltering house, and smelled the flour and baked goods in the bakery.  I felt like I was in 1899’s New York City. 

All of this being said, there were two aspects of The Golem and the Jinni that I did dislike.  First, the length of the story.  I felt like this story took forever to unfold.  The story switches back and forth between Chava and Ahmad, but I felt like breadcrumbs were being handed to me at a snail’s pace.  So much so that I almost gave up on the story.  It took too long to get to payoff, and I felt it concluded quickly after that. 

I also never became attached to Chava and Ahmad.  Yes, I empathized with them, but again due to the length of the story, I started to not care what happened to them.  For all of the wonderful beginnings I experienced with both of them, I felt like the middle of the story plodded along, and again only little snippets of meaning were given to me.  But these snippets were not exciting enough for me to want to continue to read.   As much as I liked the whole idea of this story, the setting and where the author was going with it, if it wasn't for a book tour I would have given up.  There are chunksters out there that don’t feel like chunksters, and this book is not one of those in my opinion.

3.) Reasons for recommending

So would I recommend this one?  Hmmm...honestly, I would say still give this a try because the idea for the story is original to me.  When was the last time anyone blended Jewish and Syrian folklore?  There are kernels of fantastical storytelling here, but for me the story went awry half way through due to it's length.  That made me fall out of love with it.  If the story was speeded up a bit then I would have styed in love. You may have a different opinion.

I would also urge you to check out one of the bloggers below and see what they thought. 

For  more information about Helene Wecker please visit her website or her Facebook page.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

Helene’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, April 23rd: Let Them Read Books
Thursday, April 25th: Drey’s Library
Monday, April 29th: Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, April 30th: Books By Their Cover
Wednesday, May 1st: Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, May 6th: Jenny Loves to Read
Tuesday, May 7th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, May 8th: Bibliophiliac
Thursday, May 9th: Oh! Paper Pages
Monday, May 13th: Bibliophilia, Please!
Tuesday, May 14th: Man of La Book
Wednesday, May 15th: I Read a Book Once
Thursday, May 16th: Speaking of Books
Monday, May 20th: Twisting the Lens
Tuesday, May 21st: A Bookworm’s World
Wednesday, May 22nd: Geek Banter
Thursday, May 23rd: Hooked on Books
Monday, May 27th: Fyrefly’s Book Blog
Tuesday, May 28th: Just a World Away

© Jenny Girl - 2013 "All Rights Reserved"