Wednesday, December 31, 2008

City of Ember

I had honestly never heard of Jeanne DuProu's Books of Ember series before the movie came out recently. I was pretty intrigued with the premise though so I thought I'd check the first book, The City of Ember. I was pleasantly surprised at what a great little story it is.

Doon and Lina are two twelve-year olds who live in a city that has no natural light. The city is illuminated by lights from a large generator. Generations have lived in this manner and no one knows of any different sort of life. But the generator is slowly going out. Blackouts are becoming more common. And the food supply is starting to dwindle.

When Lina finds a box with cryptic instructions (cryptic because her baby sister chewed on them) for "egress", Doon and Lina hope they have found a way out of their city to a better place.

I thought this was a wonderful story for children and it was very well written. I also thought it was a bit more accessible (simpler writing) than say The Golden Compus. But then again I don't have kids so... But it was good enough for me to probably pick up the next couple of books in the series and possibly see the movie.

The movie poster:
Doon and Lina:Have you read the book or seen the movie? What are your thoughts?

Also Reviewed By:
Today's Adventure

Dewey's Books Reading Challenge

When I returned from our trip to Egypt I was saddened to hear that a fellow book blogger, Dewey, had passed away. Her blog, The Hidden Side of a Leaf, was/is very popular. She was such a huge member of this community.

So when I heard about the Dewey's Books Reading Challenge for reading some books Dewey had read and reviewed, I thought this would be a great way to remember her.

Here's the link for posting the Challenge Reviews.

So I am going to read six books, one from each year she posted.

Amanda's Dewey Books

2003: Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer

2004: The Inner Circle - T.C. Boyle

2005: Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood

2006: Outlander (Book 1) - Diana Gabaldon

2007: Einstein's Dreams - Alan Lightman (Finished May 23, 2009)

2008: The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes - Neil Gaiman (Finished Nov 20, 2009)

Happy New Year + Two Parties...

image via paul costello

We're gearing up for our New Year's eve fondue dinner with Miss Aimee and fam. Thanks for all your excellent fondue suggestions. I'm going with Stephanie's recommendation to try the Williams-Sonoma recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out... and if it's a bust, I've stocked up on bubbly, sparklers, charades and karaoke CD's for the girl's new karaoke machine (a gift from the grandparents...) as insurance.

And tomorrow, we're having a belated b-day party for Millie + celebrating New Year's day with a big pot of white bean chicken chili, bloody marys and mimosas, and yes cupcakes (it is a two-year-old's birthday party after all...) We did this last year to great acclaim, so I'm thinking we'll make it a yearly tradition.

What are you doing to ring in the new year?

Some Chalkboard Love





I opened my e-mail last night to find these awesomely cute chalkboard decals... Perfect fodder for my chalkboard obsession (thanks Tosha.) My faves are these swirly, girly rococo numbers.

Happy New Year! 2009: The Year of Happy

From Eddie Ross. Yum!


I don't really believe in New Year's Resolutions. I think they're needless--don't we have enough to worry about to begin with? The usual, lose weight, go to the gym, stop smoking etc are too cliche for words and just make you feel bad and guilty if you do them (or don't depending on which one you chose). This year I'm choosing more positive resolutions--using my power for good instead of evil.

Laughing girl from Veer.

I'd like to be nicer to people, and in turn, maybe people will be nice to me and others (it's contagious, I hear). It's something I deal with in New York and it's starting to get me down. Sort of like Pay it Forward without the alcoholism and death. I was in the suburbs yesterday at the mall (I know, it sounds so 90's) but all these random people were smiling at me. Being the hardened pseudo New Yorker that I am, I was surprised but also, I smiled back.
It was a nice feeling.

Organized closet from Martha.

Another one is to cut out the clutter. You know, keep it cleaner. As Emily at Square One Organization says, it takes the same amount of time to put something in the wrong place as it takes to put it in the right place. Organizing for me is really fun, especially when I have the time. I love receiving Martha Stewart's Organizational Tip of the Day, too.

Attractive bookworm from Domino Mag.

My older sister says that she'd like to read more. That's another good one and I wholly approve of improving one's mind as a New Years Ressie. Reading is also a good way to relax. It's much easier and more mindless to just sit down with the remote and flip the channels, but I always feel better after I've read. It doesn't necessarily need to be a book, could be the newspaper too. Thanks, you passed the test.Figueres Mansion take by ME. Is this where I'll be living? Perhaps.

Design-wise, I will be moving at the end of February into my own apartment, so one of mine will be to design my own space as best I can. I think it will be a fun fun project and THOUGH I'll be missing my roommate like crazy, it will be a new experience that I'm looking forward to. Picking out my color scheme (I've already thought about it), possible new furniture, fun decorative accents, and space planning will be some of the challenges as I'm sure I'll be moving into a shoebox with a side of kitchen and a dash of bathroom.

ME again. Drink up!

Well, it looks like I've got my work cut out for me for 2009, but I remain upbeat about it! I think 2009 should be the year of getting back to basics, cut out the greed, the meanness, and just be happy and nice. Am I living in a dream world? I don't care. What are your resolutions?

Happy New Year!



Alicia B.

Raptor Center busy with snowy owls




"The scientists at the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota are having a busy winter. They're nursing starving birds back to health and setting broken bones. They're also seeing a lot of snowy owls, as the big white birds are are turning up again in Minnesota."

Link: Full Article from Minnesota Public Radio

Link: Donate to the MN Raptor Center

Snowy Owl © 2008 Mike McDowell

Happy New Year 2009!

Top 20 Weird Handbags

Collection of top 20 weird and creative handbag designs.


















Google Einstein Logo

I consider this Google Logo Design as an Ode to the great Albert Einstein.

With Google being so highly used worldwide and making such an impact in additional Industries besides the Internet alone, it is not wonder they should be considered a great innovative force. With that, it comes naturally to easily place them in the same sentence with a grat mind such as Albert Einstein. He has made impacts (some positive…some not so) in his own time, and Google is making their own stamp in this Digital Era.

Found Water on Mars

Don’t know if scientists have found traces of water on Mars or not but i got it.. :) have fun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fotos de Chavas,hot babes photos, sexy pics, Beautiful Women Photos, fotoblog, fotos de mujeres hermosas, photoblog, sexy girls, hotties, erotic, sensual, fotos cachondas
Mexautos.com :: Autos Usados en Mexico


Fotos de Chavas,hot babes photos, sexy pics, Beautiful Women Photos, fotoblog, fotos de mujeres hermosas, photoblog, sexy girls, hotties, erotic, sensual, fotos cachondas
Mexautos.com :: Autos Usados en Mexico


Fotos de Chavas,hot babes photos, sexy pics, Beautiful Women Photos, fotoblog, fotos de mujeres hermosas, photoblog, sexy girls, hotties, erotic, sensual, fotos cachondas
Mexautos.com :: Autos Usados en Mexico


Fotos de Chavas,hot babes photos, sexy pics, Beautiful Women Photos, fotoblog, fotos de mujeres hermosas, photoblog, sexy girls, hotties, erotic, sensual, fotos cachondas
Mexautos.com :: Autos Usados en Mexico


Fotos de Chavas,hot babes photos, sexy pics, Beautiful Women Photos, fotoblog, fotos de mujeres hermosas, photoblog, sexy girls, hotties, erotic, sensual, fotos cachondas
Mexautos.com :: Autos Usados en Mexico


Fotos de Chavas,hot babes photos, sexy pics, Beautiful Women Photos, fotoblog, fotos de mujeres hermosas, photoblog, sexy girls, hotties, erotic, sensual, fotos cachondas
Mexautos.com :: Autos Usados en Mexico


A Break From Squares: The Octagon

Remember this from yesterday? If not, you might want to read my blog more often.

As promised from my last post, here is a smattering of octagonal and one oval room. I love it as an architectural moment. For some reason I like it better than a circle; it's more organized and concrete as a shape. It's a sweet sort of room and can be used in a romantic sort of way; breakfast room, foyer, or sun room.

James Michael Howard designed this gorgeous foyer. I think my favorite thing about it is the floor. The light faded color wood in an octagonal pattern accents the shape of the room.

Okay, I know this isn't technically an octagon but it is an oval. It's interesting how the whole room seems to morph into that shape; the elongated sofa, the area rug, and also the floor. This house was designed by Robert A. M. Stern.

This is my original inspiration, the breakfast room by Michael Smith. I can't decide if I like the outside or the inside better. The terrace looks so relaxing and I love the classic shape of the space and the columns in between the french doors. So relaxing slash California.

This amazing kitchen is from 1986 in House Beautiful! The colors are a bit bright for our tastes these days but again, look at the floor patterns. This one is more like a simple wagon wheel pattern instead of the stylized parquet. I wonder how a round kitchen works as we rarely see them these days. Hmm.

J'adore this sherberty room by Gary McBournie. The paint is Benjamin Moore Florida Pink but I'd say that color would work anywhere (for me) especially in Boston or down south. I think I'm in love with this room; I can't stop looking at it.


As I am eternallly obsessed with lighting (something that has yet to be revealed here), I love the idea of putting a fun octagonal or hexagonal lantern in the center of the room to draw your eye up and to the center. I also love the idea architectural elements guiding your eye to see the shape of the room like parquet flooring, or exposed beams in the ceiling, or big bold mouldings. Does anybody have a room like this in their house? Lucky.


Alicia B.

Sci Fi Experience

If you haven't checked out Carl's blog, Stainless Steel Droppings before, you should now. He's got some great posts and great challenges. Remember the R.I.P. III one?

Well his new one, the Sci Fi Experience for 2009 is one I'm going to join as well. The experience runs from January 1st through February 28th, 2009. There is really no rules except to enjoy the genre of sci fi. But if you want to read some sci fi books, you can join up the Sci Fi Experience Book Review site.

I personally love sci fi. My dad always had a ton of books lying around that I'd grab and read. And I always loved watching sci fi movies and shows. Some of my favorites?




So here's a list of books I will try and read:

Dune - Frank Herbert
Paul of Dune - Brian Herbert
Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert
Children of Dune - Frank Herbert
The Mirror of Her Dreams - Stephen R. Donaldson
A Man Rides Through - Stephen R. Donaldson
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein

Books Read:

1. A Princess of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs (Finished January 28, 2009)

2. Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood (Finished January 30, 2009)

3. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut (Finished February 06, 2009)

4. Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer (Finished February 05, 2009)

5. The Mirror of Her Dreams - Stephen R. Donaldson (Finished January 19, 2009)

6. A Man Rides Through - Stephen R. Donaldson (Finished January 28, 2009)

7. Dune - Frank Herbert (Finished February 9, 2009)

8. Paul of Dune - Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson (Finished February 16, 2009)

9. World War Z - Max Brooks (Finished February 18, 2009)

10. The Host - Stephenie Meyer (Finished February 22, 2009)