Monday, August 31

clicks of note. everything to me.

get your week off to a colorful start...
  • Song for the week: Odessa Rose's "My Match."





Sunday, August 30

sunday simplicity.

“Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape...” - Harper Lee

Friday, August 28

5 Fandom Friday: Real Life Geeks Who Inspire Me

5 Fandom Friday is a weekly prompt challenge hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick, and this topic was pretty irresistible: favorite fictional pets! You can see the upcoming prompts here at the Female Geek Bloggers community.

Joss Whedon - This man definitely qualifies as a professional geek, and he's one of my writing idols because his style is just so uniquely Joss no matter what he's working on. Pretty much everything Joss writes, from Buffy to Firefly to the Avengers movies, is about the same thing: how, as we grow up, we create our own families. He's also a Shakespeare nerd who holds readings at his house with his favorite actor friends.

Bill Nye - Here's the thing: it takes a geek to love a subject so much that instead of seeking your own fame/glory/wealth/achievement in that field, you devote your life to teaching others about it. I don't believe I would have been as interested in science as a kid if not for Bill Nye, but thanks to him, science was something that was approachable and fun and all around me - and I ended up exceeding everyone's expectations for me and attending a math and science high school. I once read a letter he wrote in the 1990's about his hopes for our generation and it actually made me cry.

The entire staff of The Mary Sue - In a world where female geeks are accused of being "fake geek girls," a website that is all about the intersection of feminism and geekery is a necessity. Since several of the io9 writers are women as well, it's a good time to be a geeky lady on the Internet.

John and Hank Green - I was late to the vlogbrothers party - I must admit that I did not know what DFTBA stood for until after reading The Fault in our Stars. I love these guys because they are genuine, kind people putting a positive message out into the world every week.

Felicia Day - I feel like I was late to the Felicia Day party too, but I've loved this social media maven since I discovered her funny, sweet, geeky web series The Guild - and I'm not even a gamer. She's adorable and unapologetic about being a girl geek!

Thursday, August 27

Book Review: The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd

A good Regency romance usually has several standard elements: an emphasis on good manners and high society, activities Jane Austen would have been familiar with (carriage rides, dinners, garden walks), and a hint of mystery. Sarah E. Ladd's The Curiosity Keeper features a headstrong heroine and a humble gentleman navigating their class differences and a quest for a stolen ruby which takes them from the gritty, gaslit streets of London to the pastoral countryside. 

Camille Iverness was raised on her grandfather's country estate, but when her mother deserted her family to return to her native Portugal, Camille and her father returned to London, where together they ran a curiosity shop full of mysterious treasures valued by "collectors" - people like explorer and gambler Ian Gilchrist, whose mansion, Kettering Hall, houses a study packed with treasures. When the story opens, Ian has summoned his son, James, in the middle of the night: a precious family heirloom, the large rare ruby known as the Bevoy, is missing. When Ian and a family friend travel to London to investigate, they discover a crime in progress at the curiosity shop - the shop is being ransacked and Camille is being attacked. Concerned for Camille's safety, James finds her a position at a charity boarding school in the countryside town where he prefers working as an apothecary to lording over the estate he stands to inherit - if the ruby is found.

It took a few chapters for me to really get into The Curiosity Keeper, but I did enjoy following along with James and Camille as they searched for the missing ruby and became more and more intrigued by each other. Camille is not a typical Regency heroine - she prefers ancient art to drawing-room drama, and while she is kind, she isn't naive. Ladd creates a foil for Camille in James' sister, Penelope, whose dowry and social standing depend on the Bevoy being found. Rather than being a villain, Penelope's values are very much aligned with the society in which she was raised, in contrast with Camille's purer motives. Despite a few typographical errors, I found The Curiosity Keeper easy to read once I was engrossed in Camille's dilemma - to trust James, or to be loyal to a father who may cast her aside.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, August 26

Transitional Style: Chambray

Chambray has been a huge trend in the fashion world for several seasons now, and I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. Denim's softer, gentler cousin (actually, the difference is all in how the fabrics are woven) is perfect for the transitional season as summer sandals and blouses give way to sweatshirts and tights, and chambray pieces can easily go from the workweek to the weekend.

Transitional Style: Chambray
1. J. Crew Factory dotted layered sweatshirt  2. Ruche midi skirt  3. Old Navy embroidered scalloped blouse  4. Sally Hansen XTreme Wear nail polish in "Babe Blue"  5. BC Footwear huarache sandals from Ruche  6. Yankee Candle "Crisp Morning Air"

What's your favorite way to make pieces work for multiple seasons?

Tuesday, August 25

literary junkies: august 2015

Pink Heels Pink Truck

1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it.

I just started reading The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. It was available on Kindle Unlimited, and I knew it was set in the Lowcountry, so I snapped it up! All I know so far is that it's about a man who lives with his family on Sullivan's Island (I was just there a few weeks ago!) and is trying to overcome some childhood trauma that left him estranged from his parents.

2. What books have you just picked up lately?

I got I Am Malala on sale at Costco, The Astronaut Wives Club on sale at Barnes and Noble, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a HatUp the Down Staircase, and the first Poldark novel from Kindle Unlimited (I try to download at least two books a month on my Kindle to make the subscription worthwhile!)

3. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

I almost always have several books going at once - usually a literary, romance, or historical fiction novel that I'm reading at home, a YA book that I want to recommend to students in my classroom, and a nonfiction book or memoir to carry around and read in waiting rooms and such.

4. What makes you love a book?

For me, it's all about good characters - if I can't find at least one character in the story to love, I can't truly enjoy the book, no matter how well it's written.

5. This one is totally random but Fall is just around the corner and we want to know...what's your favorite cookbook?

If I'm being honest, I use Pinterest as a cookbook more than anything else! My mom got me Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible shortly after Mr. Q and I got married and I've used it quite a bit, as well as some well-loved fundraiser cookbooks that were hers in the 1970's and 80's and include some of my favorite recipes. I really want to try the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook because I'm trying to eat more real/whole foods in my quest to get healthy - I love Paula Deen, but she's not going to help me beat diabetes!

Monday, August 24

clicks of note.

get your week off to a colorful start...
  • I hope you all had a great weekend! I spent time with some of my best friends this weekend - one my childhood friend's husband threw her a surprise party with a bonfire on Friday night, and on Saturday Breeze and I had brunch downtown, wandered around the farmers' market, and ended up exploring the science museum. It was time well spent because I feel recharged and ready to take on another week.

  • Mat Kearney's new song "Air I Breathe" is so lovely - hear the whole thing and watch the lyrics video here. I'm linking up with Musical Mondays at My So-Called Chaos.