Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An addition to our family...

No, not that kind of addition, I'm not preggers! 

We are finally getting a piano! For those that know us... you know that ever since we've moved into our house a year and a half ago, we've called our formal living room the "piano room". Our friends/family give us a weird look when they don't see a piano, and we have to tell them to use their imaginations :). John and I both grew up playing the piano, and are excited to re-learn since neither of us have played in a long time (over a decade, yikes that makes me feel OLD). I took 8 years of lessons which I mostly hated, I liked playing for myself and what I wanted to play vs. what I was instructed to learn.  Though I had all those lessons, I never felt like a good player. I've never been able to just sit down and play by reading the music without having to struggle to learn it... I've always been jealous of my aunt who can play whatever sheet music you put in front of her!

We have been searching for pianos on craigslist, ebay, and at local piano sellers seriously for the past month. We went back and forth on what our budget should be, and what kind of piano we should get - upright or baby grand. Though we found many potential pianos at reasonable prices on craigslist and ebay, we eventually decided we wanted to buy new. Not a very "green" decision I know, but we are extremely picky when it comes to major purchases. Ha, who am I kidding, we're picky about everything (and I like to say John is even more picky than I am)! We wanted a piano with great tone, manufactured with quality materials, and one that would play great for many years. Also, since we are limited budget wise, the idea of it being under warranty, and being able to "trade up" appealed to us.

We decided on the Kawai K-3 Professional Upright in the Mahogany Satin finish.
If you're interested, you can listen here:

So excited! It should arrive early next week!

What will you read next?

I just discovered a new website and had to share it with you -! Simply enter a book you loved or heard about, and it suggests several books for you to read next that it thinks you'll enjoy. You can also link up YourNextRead with to import/export your lists!

Check it out!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reading: Hex Hall

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here's the description from
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
What a fun, enjoyable read! I was a little weary of this book at first because I had read such good things about it, but at the same time I wasn't sure I'd be able to get into a paranormal-fantasy galore book... and I was still reeling from the fae world in The Iron King. Well, I had nothing to worry about! Hex Hall is a school for the Prodigium - witches, warlocks, shape-shifters, werewolves, faeires, ghosts, and you-name-it set somewhere near Savannah, GA. It's a murder mystery with a twist I have to admit, I didn't see coming, even though I thought parts of it were fairly predictable. I quickly liked Sophie, the protagonist. She's the "girl next door" with unrefined powers and full of witty jokes and come-backs. I had a few laugh out loud moments. I really enjoyed reading this book and can not wait to read the rest of the series!

View all my reviews

Monday, March 14, 2011

I decided to start my own book club!

OK. So. In a fit of rebellion toward my neighborhood book club's book selection for March, I decided to start my own on! So far we officially have 7 members, and I'm waiting for a couple of others to sign up (that have said they are joining). If you're a personal friend of mine and did not receive a direct invitation to join, it's because I didn't think you'd be interested. I promise it wasn't personal :). If you ARE interested, and seriously interested in participating (no online stalkers please), shoot me an email and I'll send you an invitation. This is a private group limited to my personal friends, and their friends (who will soon become my friends - sorry blog-land peeps). Links to the group are in the widget below.

Book BABES's currently-reading book montage

Book BABES 7 members
This book club is about having fun reading, and sharing the experience with friends. Reading should...

Books we're currently reading

Hex Hall
Hex Hall

by Rachel Hawkins

Start date: March 13, 2011
View this group on Goodreads »

Here's the description which is cut-off above:
This book club is about having fun reading, and sharing the experience with friends. Reading should not be a chore! This group primarily reads young adult literature (who cares what our age is!), with a sprinkle of chick lit and best-selling fiction.
I selfishly want this club to be about FUN reading for ME, so yes, this group will focus on mainly young adult literature and all its fabulous sub genres - paranormal, mystery, fantasy, romance, sci-fi, and whatever else catches our eye. Occasionally we'll read best-selling fiction and chick lit (I'd say maybe 25% of the time). Basically, this book club is all about fun easy reads as the other club I'm in tends to be on the more serious side (historical fiction, non-fiction, etc.) I am personally striving to find those can-not-put-down-stay-up-all-night-OMG books!

I'm really hoping this book club thrives, and to do so, it needs active participants. We'll be selecting (by poll vote) a book to read each month and Denver locals will have monthly meetings (read: hang out, drink wine, discuss the book, eat chocolate, have girl talk, and drink more wine). If you're an out-of-towner, you are very much welcome! The books will be discussed online through discussion boards on the group's page, and depending on how many there are of us, we could try Skype to tie everyone together!

If you are not interested in the YA genre, or don't expect you'll be able to participate on a regular basis (life happens - work, kids, family stuff - so missing out on a couple of books is not a big deal), please do not join. I hate saying that... but I really rather keep it small than to have a huge group with only a few participants. We officially begin in April, the poll for book selection goes up this Wednesday (April 16th), and voting will end on Saturday. I'm trying to give everyone enough time to get their hands on a copy of the book. In the future I'll try to have books selected a month beforehand.

Anyhoo! Friends, let me know if you're interested.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Reuse It: Straws

I finally, FINALLY, purchased a set of glass straws from I've been wanting to get some for quite a while and now I will have my very own (I really have no idea why I didn't buy them sooner). I'm not a girl that needs a straw, but I would like to start using them to prevent staining my teeth with coffee and tea. 

I know I'm a dork but I'm sooooo excited for these to arrive! I ordered  the Glass Dharma set of 3 Glass Straws (9.5 mm) with Brush.

photo: (this picture is of the larger 12 mm size)
Eeeeeee! And... I found a coupon code (NEWCUST1, I heart to get this workhorse reusable bag FREE.
Now I'm on a hunt for a case or cozy (I didn't like the one they had) to carry one of the glass straws in my purse. Any chance any of you peeps know of one? 

Alrighty, just had to share! I'm not paid by Glass Dharma or, but I think you should hurry over and get some too... because really, gazillions of plastic disposable straws in our landfills is just sad. I'm happy to eliminate another plastic item in my life. 

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Catch up: Jan and Feb

Well helloooooooo! I can't believe I haven't posted in over a month. I'm so behind in the blogging world - with posting and reading others blogs! I really have no idea where January and February went... but here's my attempt to catch up.


The first week in January I began consulting and traveled to Boston to meet my client and get to know the company. Don't worry, I'm not moving! I get to work from home in my lounge wear aka work PJs :). In the same week I started my own Limited Liability Company while hanging out with great, supportive friends in NH. I quickly learned that there are great free tools for small business owners out there. I could probably do an entire blog post on them... but I'll just point you to my previous post on, and tell you that ROCKS. Through Freshbooks I can track my time by project and task, create and send invoices, customize it with my logo, and look professional to my clients... for FREE. Oh yeah, and there's an app for it too.

I also started volunteering with a couple of local non-profits. I have been looking for organizations to get involved with since I moved here, and then when I finally figured out what I wanted to do they coincided with me going back to work. Not complaining! I just think it's funny. I serve on a committee for one and donate manual labor to the other (I know I'm being vague but I'm a little paranoid about sharing details publicly). I'll just say I happily shovel manure for the good of the kids. Ha!


February wasn't quite as exciting (as far as big changes), but it just flew by... it was a whirl of work, celebrating 8 years of being with John, hanging out with friends, and ended with my friend H and family visiting us. We had a full house this past weekend and I loved it! Unfortunately I've been sick so I wasn't able to do snowshoeing/hiking as planned... but we fit in some CO must-dos and ate yummy food!

I think that pretty much sums up the past couple months. Ooh, I have been reading a ton lately, if you're interested you can find me on goodreads, here. I don't think I've read this much since I was a kid!

Hope 2011 is treating you well so far!