Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
As for me, I did *not* have a crazy Twilight adventure when trying to see Eclipse at midnight. Not me. I am too mature to want to venture out with the teenie boppers and middle-aged women pining for Edward Cullen.
Speaking of sparkly vampires, I totally did *not* dream that my husband was a vampire last night. Not me. I am grounded in reality and know that could never, never happen. 
I did *not* pack up the whole car, Minions and all, and head to my parents’ house for the weekend, only to think 20 miles down the road, “Did I shut the garage door?” I was *not* so paranoid that I turned the car around and drove home, only to find the garage door securely closed. Not me. I am always observant and would never double the trip to ease my peace of mind.
Yesterday, I did *not* “take off” from blogging and refuse to write any posts. Not me. I would never be scrambling to post all of my stuff at 10:30 on Monday morning. Ahhh…vacation.
And finally, last night, I did *not* insist that we leave for the local fireworks show two hours early so we could get good seats. Not me. I would never force my hubby to go out of his way just so I could realize we were too close to get any awesome fireworks photos take some mediocre Fourth of July photos. Sigh.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and thanks for looking!

Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July!
I’m taking the day off, but wanted to wish you all a happy holiday weekend!
I’m looking forward to grilling out, sparklers and fireworks!
Next week, I’ll (hopefully) have lots more fun photos to show you.
Until then, be safe and thanks for looking!

Team Edward!

Last week, the girls in my family got all dolled up and went to the movies.
The Twilight Trilogy was playing at our local theater, and we were so excited (at least I was!) to see the first two movies, along with the midnight premiere of Eclipse.
Let me just say, we were not disappointed!
Being the die-hard fans we are, we decided to make shirts.
I am Team Edward all the way.
Alex, my sister-in-law, is Team Jacob.
My mom went as Team Eh… Get it? I don’t think a lot of people did. But we thought it was funny!
One thing I learned that night: Twilight fans are *crazy.*
Let me set up the scene for you: We arrived at the theater an hour early.
I thought we’d have no trouble finding three seats together.
Yeah, we had no trouble, if we wanted to sit on the second row. Seriously?
Apparently, it is completely legitimate for one person to “save” seats on two rows for people who aren’t even at the theater yet.
Yes, you heard me right.
About half of the theater was empty, but we couldn’t sit in any of those seats because they were “saved.”
And the theater management did nothing about it.
So, Alex decided we were not going to stand for that.
She and my mom went and sat down in two of the seats that were “saved.” This lady, who was trying to save about eight seats on two rows, started screaming at them. She even went and got a manager.
She told the manager that the people she was saving the seats for were “at the concession stand.” We said that was fine, we’d move when they showed up. 
After the manager left, she called the rest of the people from their party and told them they needed to get to the theater because we were taking their seats. They weren’t even in the theater!
When two people from their group showed up, even though there were six empty seats by her, she told them to sit in our seats because they were theirs. They didn’t even have anything from the concession stand.
I was furious.
We talked to another manager, who offered to get some folding chairs and set them up for us in between the handicap seats on the bottom of the second level. Well, that was better than the second row.
But still, I can’t believe they let people save that many seats for people who hadn’t even gotten to the theater.
I can understand saving seats for people while they’re at the concession stand, but blatantly lying about it like that was wrong.
Ok, rant over. Sorry.
It was great to get to see all three movies again on the big screen. And back-to-back. 
And I *loved* Eclipse. It was *so* much better than the other movies.
And Jasper with a Texas accent? Yes, please!
I may have to change my allegiance to Team Jasper…
How about you? Have you seen Eclipse? What did you think?
Thanks for looking!

Star-Spangled Sugar Cookies

Star-Spangled Sugar Cookies

For days, I’ve been thinking, and thinking, and thinking (kind of like Pooh Bear) about what kind of fun Fourth of July dessert I could make for this weekend.

I’ve scoured the Internet…searching blogs and racking my brain for ideas. But nothing really struck me. Until last night.

Read More…

Tutorial: Bridal Shower Invitations

A few weeks ago, I showed you some party favors I picked up for a bridal shower I’m hosting.
It’s a luau theme, so I wanted to send out some fun, bright invitations.
I think they turned out super-cute, so I thought I’d share a tutorial on how to create them.
Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Letter-sized scrapbook paper, cut in half (landscape-wise)
  • Invitations, printed on white cardstock and trimmed (directions below)
  • Large envelopes
  • Glue Dots
  • Scotch tape
  • Stickers or embellishments
First, you’ll need to get your invitations ready.
Here’s how mine looked:
The lines are where you trim the invitations.
First, cut them in half landscape-wise. Then, trim off 1/4 inch around each side.
If you don’t have the fonts installed on your computer, the Word document won’t line up correctly.
The cute, handwriting font is from Kevin and Amanda. I just love all of her fonts!
She even has a tutorial on how to install the fonts on your computer.
Once you have them printed and trimmed, you’re good to go!
I took mine to FedEx Office to be trimmed. It was $1.49 per cut, but they were precise and each invitation is the same size. So I think it was worth it.
Apply glue dots to the back of the invitations.
You want to be sure that they will stick to the scrapbook paper.
Then, just affix it to the scrapbook paper. And voila!

There’s the final product!

I added cute flower stickers to the front of the envelopes.
I think they added a fun touch and carried the theme throughout.
You could use these for baby showers, bridal showers or even birthday parties!
What do you think?
I’m going to link this up to Tidy Mom’s I’m Lovin’ It Fridays.
Thanks for looking!

Friday Finds (3)

Ok, folks, this week I’ve been kind of lax on the blogging.Life has been pretty hectic and I haven’t stalked the blogosphere as much as usual.

BUT – I *do* want to tell you about an awesome contest I am hosting here at The Nerd’s Wife!

July Book Extravaganza


Because I love July, I’m giving two people the chance to win their choice of a dozen hot summer reads.

The best part? The more followers I get, the more winners there will be!

Check out the contest details and don’t forget to enter!

*****

If you’re here from the Blog Hop, welcome!

*****

Last week, I stumbled upon Follow My Book Blog Friday at Parajunkee’s View.

I love her site, and I’m so glad that she’s hosting this feature!

If you are visiting for the first time, I hope you like what you see!

If you become a follower, be sure to leave a comment letting me know! I’ll be happy to follow you back!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!

Happy Friday!

July Book Extravaganza!

I have lots of things to celebrate this month:

I surpassed 100 followers!

Only one entry per person.

You *must* be a follower of my blog to enter. 
To follow my blog, just click the “Join This Site” button on the right sidebar and sign in with your Google or Open ID account.
Already a follower? Great! You’ll get an extra entry for following my blog prior to this contest!

Once you’re a follower, just answer the questions in the form below and hit Submit!

This giveaway is open internationally.

There will be *five* winners.

Winner #1 will get a choice of *two* books from the list.
Winner #2 will get a choice of *one* book from the list.

If I reach 150 followers during the contest, I’ll add Winner #3 with a choice of *one* book from the list.
We made it to 150 followers! Yay! Now there are *three* winners!

Winner #3 will get a choice of *one* book from the list.

If I reach 200 followers during the contest, I’ll add Winner #4 with a choice of *one* book from the list.
Woohoo for 200 followers! A fourth winner has been added.

Winner #4 will get a choice of *one* book from the list.

If I reach 250 followers during the contest, I’ll add Winner #5 with a choice of *one* book from the list.
My readers rock! With 250 followers, I’m adding a *fifth* winner!

Winner #5 will get a choice of *one* book from the list.

If I reach 300 followers during the contest, I’ll add Winner #6 with a choice of *one* book from the list.
Woohoo! And now we’re at 300 followers! A *sixth* winner has been added!

Winner #6 will get a choice of *one* book from the list.

If I reach 350 followers during the contest, I’ll add Winner #7 with a choice of *one* book from the list.
And done! Now there are *seven* winners!

Winner #7 will get a choice of *one* book from the list.

If I reach 400 followers during the contest, I’ll add Winner #8 with a choice of *one* book from the list.
OMG — We passed 400 followers! Did I mention how much I love you guys? I’m adding an *eighth* winner!

Winner #8 will get a choice of *one* book from the list.

If I reach 450 followers during the contest. I’ll add Winner #9 with a choice of *one* book from the list, and so on for each 50-follower milestone thereafter.

Books will be purchased by me from The Book Depository and shipped to the winners.
Increase Your Chances:

Complete the following tasks to increase your chances to win!

  • +1 – Become a fan of The Nerd’s Wife on Facebook.
  • +1 – Follow The Nerd’s Wife on Twitter.
  • +2 – Tweet about this contest. Sample tweet: I’m trying to win the July Book Extravaganza from @thenerdswife. Enter here: http://bit.ly/bz0GpB
  • +3 – List this contest in your blog sidebar.
  • +5 – Write a blog post about this contest.

Contest ends Saturday, July 31 at 11:59 p.m. CST.
Don’t see something you want on the list? Leave a comment and let me know! I could add it!

I chose some titles that I’ve been anticipating or have loved. But this contest is about you, so let me know if there’s something you’d like to see!

Good luck!

Review: Incarceron

The first time I saw Incarceron by Catherine Fisher at the bookstore, I immediately picked it up. The cover looked so intriguing, and the title? What does that even mean?
So when I saw that Blog with Bite had chosen it as their YA review for June, I knew it was time to pick up this book and, finally, satiate my thirst.
Boy, am I glad I did.
From the jacket copy: “Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: Its inmates live not only in cells, but also in metal forests, dilapidated cities, and unbounded wilderness. The prison has been sealed for centuries, and only one man, legend says, has ever escaped.”
The book follows Finn, a 17-year-old inmate, as he tries to find his way Outside the prison’s walls. Then, there’s Claudia, a privileged young woman who just might hold the key to Finn’s Escape.
The book is inventive and fascinating. At first, I thought it was predictable. But the author surprised me in the details and nuances of the story. So while I thought I knew what was going to happen, I ended up surprised at the end. That is the best kind of story.
The characters were deep and real. Claudia is such a strong female force, and Finn’s quest to unearth his identity is very compelling. At first, I hated Keiro, but in the end, I felt sorry for him. And Attia — I *loved* Attia for her quick wit and ability to survive. She is so loyal to Finn, and I admire that.
You definitely don’t want to miss this book!
Plot Discussion From This Point…Spoiler Alert!
For me, Incarceron was the tale of *two* prisons. Of course, there is Incarceron itself, which this futuristic society built to lock away all of the wrong and bad people from its world. They locked up the criminals, the murderers and the degenerates. But who made that choice? Who decided these were the bad people?
The inmates of Incarceron were supposed to be placed in a paradise — access to educate, health care and everything they needed to have a functioning Utopian society. But soon, the society unraveled and the prison decayed into Hell.
The central question in the book has to do with the nature of man. Are we inherently evil? Will we corrode anything we touch? Or is it possible to create a paradise?
I think that the parallel prison in the story answers that question. For me, the Protocol dictated by the Queen was another prison. It was a way to contain her subjects. At one point, she even tells Caspar to remember that Protocol is what allows them to rule.
Here you have this highly advanced society — they have wands that can stop signs of aging! — and they have chosen to stop progress and live according to the constraints of an earlier Era (seems like early Victorian England). They have banned all forms of technology and drive coaches pulled by horses and wear petticoats. The poor are servants and the wealthy are courtiers and the Queen is able to control it all.
And the people just let her. This is supposed to be the “good” people in their society, and their world is plagued with murder plots and kidnappings and threats by an evil ruler.
I think that Catherine Fisher has answered her own question in the way that this society is portrayed. Evil is part of everything. There is no way to escape it. In order for there to be good, there must be evil. And there most definitely is.
Discussion Questions…Spoiler Alert!
1. Claudia was portrayed as a very strong character, did you think bravery lead her steps into Incarceron or do you think she just played a card in the prisons hand?
I think that it was her bravery that led her into Incarceron. She made up her own mind throughout the book, and she was able to break free of Incarceron’s influence once she was inside the prison. I think that speaks volumes about the strength of her character.
 2. Although Jared and Claudia’s relationship is purely student/ teacher….did you pick up any undercurrent of sexual tension between them?
I think there was definitely some sexual tension between them. We never really get an idea of how old Jared is…he’s just described as “older.” I don’t think it’s possible for a man and woman to be close friends and not related and not have sexual tension in the relationship.
3. Spill! What are your predictions for the next book Sapphique? What are you looking forward to/what do you hope gets explained before the grand finale?
I think that Keiro will never escape. I think that he will believe Finn betrayed him and he will be trapped in there forever or die in there. I hope we learn the truth about Sapphique and his relationship with Incarceron.

Oohh…what if the Warden was Sapphique? And when he went back in it was Sapphique returning. That would be an awesome twist.4. What do you think of the relationship between the Warden and the Queen in regards to the big picture?

I think that both were selfish and used the other to attain their own goals. It was great how they ended up screwing each other over.
5. Do you think that Finn is the only one besides Sapphique who has escaped or left Incarceron?
Well, if the key is the only way to leave… I would think so… But then again, Sapphique escaped without a key, so who knows?
6. What is your take on the futuristic aspects mixed with the period clothing and mannerisms? Is this what would be considered Steampunk or is it more Science Fiction?
I definitely think that this qualifies as Steampunk. It has the period aspect and the futuristic aspect that define the genre.
Be sure to check out Blog With Bite to see what everyone else thought of Incarceron.
Thanks for looking!

A New ‘Do

Last week, the pups escaped from the back yard.
When we finally found them, it seemed George had gone for a romp in a sticker burr bush. He was covered in the things.
If you remember, George looked like this:
Can you imagine dozens of sicker burrs stuck in that fur?
I witnessed it.
It was not a pretty picture.
So, I took him to the groomers and had them shave him. 
It was time for a new ‘do, right?
Now, he looks like this:
He’s so skinny!
He kind of looks like a cross between a hyena and a baby fawn.
Don’t you think?
I love his satellite ears. 
I think he’s happy with his new look.
Thanks for looking!
When The Minions escaped from the back yard, Georgie got an unintended consequence: A haircut.



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