Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fun But Busy Weekend

This weekend has flown by so far. Yesterday, we had my step-sons' pinewood derby race and my niece's third birthday party. I spent Friday evening making three dozen cupcakes and one giant cupcake. I received a Wilton giant cupcake pan for Christmas and it was my first attempt. I had heard of people having trouble with it and read online for tips and used a modified recipe. I was quite pleased with how it turned out. I ran out of time to decorate it before the party so my sister and I finished it at the party. I'll be making another in two weeks and will be trying out some different things for decorating it. The birthday party was a lot of fun. My brother-in-law is a volunteer firefighter and the party was at the fire hall. The kids had a blast checking out the firetrucks.



The pinewood derby race was a lot of fun, I'd never been to one before with having all sisters. My step-sons' cars may not have been quite the fastest (luckily they weren't the slowest either!), but I think the boys and Jim did a great job designing and making their cars.

  

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Tenants

Well, everything is transitioned from our previous tenants to our new tenants for the condo we rent out. And I'm so glad that it is! We had three and a half days with the condo empty and of course had scheduling issues with the painters. Luckily, everything worked out, with just minimal anxiety on my part! I'm extremely grateful that we have tenants and are able to get some sort of reimbursement while paying two mortgages, but I would prefer not to have to do the landlord thing at all. The current tenants signed a two-year lease and I am so hoping that selling it is an option in two years!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Reading Challenges

I'll be using this post to organize my books and progress for the reading challenges I joined this year. I was a little more ambitious than I thought I was going to be for my first year of challenges and joined six.  :)

451 Challenge (5/5) - Completed!

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Read
  2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck- Read
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Read
  4. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton - Read
  5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - Read
Awesome Author Challenge (6/6) - Completed!
  1. Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood- Read
  2. Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier - Read
  3. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster - Read
  4. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - Read
  5. Champagne for One by Rex  Stout - Read
  6. Good Grief by Lolly Winston - Read

Jane Austen Challenge (4/4) - Completed!

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Read
  2. Persuasion by Jane Austen - Read
  3. Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange - Read
  4. Austenland by Shannon Hale - Read

Time Travel Reading Challenge (3/3) - Completed!

  1.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - Read
  2.  The Cross Time Engineer by Leo Frankowski - Read
  3.  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Read

What's In A Name Challenge (6/6) - Completed!

  1. Food - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - Read
  2. Body of Water - Oceans Apart by Karen Kingsbury - Read
  3. Title - Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood - Read
  4. Plant - Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax - Read
  5. Place Name - The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker - Read
  6. Music Term - The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee - Read

Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge (30/25) - Completed!

  1. Good Grief by Lolly Winston - Read
  2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Read
  3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - Read
  4. Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood - Read
  5. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee - Read
  6. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker - Read
  7. Magnolia Wednesdays by Wendy Wax - Read
  8. Oceans Apart by Karen Kingsbury - Read
  9. Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier - Read
  10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Read
  11. Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange - Read
  12. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin - Read
  13. The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano - Read
  14. Prayers For Sale by Sandra Dallas - Read
  15. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Read
  16. Champagne for One by Rex  Stout - Read
  17. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton - Read
  18. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks - Read
  19. Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon - Read
  20. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Read
  21. Something Blue by Emily Giffin - Read
  22. Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers - Read
  23. The Wife's Tale by Lori Lansens - Read
  24. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - Read
  25. Persuasion by Jane Austen - Read
  26. Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers- Read
  27. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - Read 
  28. Austenland by Shannon Hale - Read
  29. The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson- Read
  30. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - Read

      2010 451 Reading Challenge


      I am really looking forward to this challenge, hosted by Elizabeth. Based on the weekly feature, 451 Fridays, on Elizabeth's blog, which is in turn based on the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, where a group of people are trying to keep the ideas found in books alive. Instead of saving the books, they each 'become' a book - memorizing it and passing it down generations. For the challenge, a list of 451 amazing books has been put together to choose from. It's just going to be a challenge choosing the books for the challenge! I've decided to do the Flame level and read 5 - 6 books from the list. For more info or to sign up, visit 451 Challenge.

      2010 Jane Austen Reading Challenge


      I am signing up for the Jane Austen Reading Challenge. I am really looking forward to this one as well, hosted by Haley. I've been trying to incorporate more classics into my reading and with this challenge, I'll be able to read some Jane Austen, as well as re-writes, prequels, sequels, or spoofs since they are also part of the challenge. I have decided to do the Newbie level, which is read two books by Jane Austen and two re-writes, prequels, sequels, or spoofs. For more info or to sign up, visit Jane Austen Challenge.

      2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge


      I'm not one to purchase many books because it can get quite expensive, so I do frequent the library quite often. And since I moved in with Jim, the library is within walking distance, which is really nice too. This reading challenge is hosted by J. Kaye and runs all year. There are four different levels and I'm choosing The Mini - check out and read 25 books. For more info or to sign up, visit Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge.

      Happy New Year!



      Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010!