Saturday, May 30, 2009

And the book goes to....

Robin!
Robin, you can pick up the book in person on June 5.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Katie's guide to summer TV

I’ve had such a lull in my TV watching lately. Sure, I’ve had more time to read and do the dishes, but I’m ready for some good shows to start. Luckily, the Summer TV Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly arrived in the mail today, reminding me that hope is on the horizon. Here's what I'll be watching.




  • Pushing Daisies: This fave returns on Saturday, May 30, with the final three episodes. Sniff. (Note: The also-canceled Eli Stone returns with the four final episodes on June 20, and the four remaining episodes of Dirty Sexy Money will air starting July 18.)
  • Burn Notice: I've heard great things about this show, so I'm giving it try, starting with Season 1 on DVD. (Season 3 starts on June 4.)
  • Weeds: This show is a can't-miss for me. Note to self: Restart Showtime subscription before June 8 premiere.
  • Nurse Jackie: I'll be paying for Showtime, so I might as well give this show a try. I suspect that Edie Falco + Showtime = high-quality programming. (Premieres June 8.)
  • The Closer: Kyra Sedgwick is consistently entertaining. I like to have episodes of this show on my DVR for rainy days. (Returns June 8.)
  • True Blood: More, please. (Welcome back Sookie and the vamps on June 14.)
  • Hung: If this new HBO show is as funny as the premise, I'm in. NOTE: The show is on HBO, and it's called "Hung." Consider yourself warned before pressing "play." (Begins June 28.)

  • Big Brother: The guiltiest of my guilty pleasures. You don't have to tell me it's crap. I'm aware, and I love it anyway. (Coming back July 9.)
  • Entourage: I'll be counting down the days until Vince and the boys return. Current count: 45 days. (Returns July 12.)

There you have it. What will you be watching this summer?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't forget: Enter to win a book!

My giveaway for Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz ends Friday night! Just scroll down and enter on the post below.
Any comment will do! Don't be a stranger.
(This means YOU.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do you like free things? Are you crafty?



If your answers are yeah and hell yeah, then head over to Sew, Mama, Sew to check out their May Giveaway Day. They have links to {literally} hundreds of giveaways for handmade items and crafty supplies. Most entries are simple and just require a comment, and you have until May 31 to enter. I have my heart set on this. And also this. (Please note that entering a giveaway that I've also entered significantly lowers your chances of winning. Have I mentioned my latest?)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Katie's Book Pass-along: Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz



Perhaps it's all of the rain or the fact that my DVR has gone idle for the summer, but I've been a reading machine! Here's the next book for the pass-along: Admission by Jean Hanf Korelitz. Korelitz has written three other novels (Sabbathday River, A Jury of Her Peers, and The White Rose), none of which I've read.
Here's the synopsis:
For years, 38-year-old Portia Nathan has avoided the past, hiding behind her busy (and sometimes punishing) career as a Princeton University admissions officer and her dependable domestic life. Her reluctance to confront the truth is suddenly overwhelmed by the resurfacing of a life-altering decision, and Portia is faced with an extraordinary test. Just as thousands of the nation's brightest students await her decision regarding their academic admission, so too must Portia decide whether to make her own ultimate admission.
Admission is at once a fascinating look at the complex college admissions process and an emotional examination of what happens when the secrets of the past return and shake a woman's life to its core.

See, "Admission," my sister would tell you, is a "multiple meaning word." Here it refers to the process of letting students in to an elite university (the behind-the-scenes look at this process is interesting and frightening), and it also refers to process of Portia coming to terms with her own secrets (ooh, intriguing!).

Each chapter begins with a snippet of a college application essay, and these became my favorite part of the book. It is a work of fiction, but Korelitz, herself, worked as an admissions officer for Princeton, so I think there is definitely a lot of truth here. The bookItalic is compelling and well-written. I think you'll like it.

Want to read Admission? Just write a comment on this post before Friday night. I'll pick a winner on Saturday morning, and send the book on its way. All I ask is that when you're finished you pass the book along to another reader of your choosing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

For Cooper's Flock

I heard about Cooper's Flock on Susan Anderson's blog, and I knew I wanted to pitch in. Lucinda started Cooper's Flock in memory of her son. (Read more on her blog.) Her local children's hospital, where Cooper received treatment, performs 270 heart surgeries a year, and she wanted each of the children to receive a hand-made bird on the day of surgery. She's collected almost 400 in just a few months! Knitters happen to be nice people. These guys flew off to join Cooper's flock today.

(Sorry the pictures are bad. They're hard to photograph.)

My friend Libby is having a little girl in a few weeks, and her nursery is decorated in a bird theme, so I made two for too.

Yummy orange rolls

I made these Easy Orange Rolls for a friend's breakfast shower today. They were very simple to make (they start with a can of Pillsbury French bread dough) and quite tasty.

And the book goes to...


Marilyn!
Marilyn, I know where to find you.
I'm hoping to finish up the next pass-along book this weekend, so come back soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Don't forget: Win Love The One You're With

I'm going to pick a winner for Emily Giffin's Love the One You're With tomorrow morning. Just scroll down and write a comment on the original post!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I really liked it. You?

Leah warned me that Lea Michele (she plays Rachel Berry) would be awesome. She was right.
I am concerned that it's going to be one of those shows I get really attached to but it gets canceled due to poor ratings (see also: Pushing Daisies).

American Idol: Do you care?

I haven't been interested in American Idol this season, but I've decided to throw my support behind this guy:
Because he reminds me of this guy:

And because of this:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Don't forget: Glee on Tuesday!


Tune in to Fox tomorrow at 9 Eastern/8 Central for the premiere of Glee!
I sure hope Fox knows what their doing. I think showing the pilot now and then making us wait four months for the rest of the season is a risky move. It's going to have to be really good.

Entertainment Weekly gives it an A, so my hopes are high.

Check it out: AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com


Need a laugh? Check out this site, for--you guessed it--awkward family photos.

Here's my submission.

Kidding! Kidding!

Good news, Chuck fans!


According to EW.com, Chuck has been renewed. NBC has ordered 13 episodes for next season, so we get to find out more about Chuck's new kung-fu skillz.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Natalie's Book Pass-along

I'm still plugging along on my next book for the pass-along. In the meantime, my lovely sister has a book she's finished reading, and she'd like to send it to one of you.
I haven't read this book, but here's the description according to Barnes & Noble.

The "New York Times" bestselling author of "Something Borrowed," "Something Blue," and "Baby Proof" delivers another captivating novel about women and the choices that define them. This is the story for anyone who has ever wondered: How can I truly love the one I'm with when I can't forget the one who got away? Ellen and Andy's first year of marriage doesn't just "seem" perfect, it "is" perfect. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo for the first time in eight years. Leo, the one who brought out the worst in her. Leo, the one who left her heartbroken with no explanation. Leo, the one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she's living is the one she's meant to live. "Love the One You're With" is a powerful story about one woman at the crossroads of true love and real life.

Leave a comment on this post--any comment--by Thursday night, and I'll pick a winner on Friday. All we ask is that when you're finished with the book, you pass it along to another book lover of your choosing.

Mmm. Muffins.

This recipe for Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Muffins is one of my all-time favorites. I'm not sure what it is about this recipe that makes it so delicious. Oh, yeah. It's probably the stick and a half of butter and block of cream cheese. I always go with the peanut butter streusel topping. Yu-um.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My favorite TV character



Dr. Lance Sweets on Bones (played by John Francis Daley)



I've had a special affection for JFD since his days as little Sam Weir on Freaks and Geeks.

Who's you're favorite TV character?
(BTW: Bones finale? Terrible! What is wrong with my shows? Evidently Fox is big on the "drug-induced hallucination" finale this season.)

Sayonara, Lost


Ta ta to the most maddening show on television!
If you missed last night's 2-hour finale of lost, I'll save you some time. Fast-forward through the first hour and 50 minutes, because nothing happened. Actually, this falls right in line with the rest of the season.
I'd like to say I'm not going to tune in to the last season, but I've given Lost 4 of the best years of my life (heh!). So I'm sure I'll be lining up for my final dose in 2010.
Now. Let's move on to some more mindless fare.
Wonder when Big Brother starts up again...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New toy

My guys got me this cool little Flip Video camcorder for Mother's Day. I love it. It's super easy to use and is very small and portable. Very blog friendly! My favorite feature: The USB port flips out of the side, so you can plug it directly into the computer. You never have to search around for a camera cord.
I got the Flip Video Ultra F230. It holds 30 minutes of video. It sells for about $80 at Walmart. I think that's a bargain. Flip makes fancier HD models that hold more video too.

video
And...here's a sample video.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Verdict

The jury was out on this song, but I finally decided I like it. I think it's the "woo hoos" that swayed me. If you were listening to this in a German dance club, you might call it "funky fresh."

"Don't Trust Me" by 3OH!3 (not a typo)

There was one lyric in particular that I wasn't sure about. (No, not "Don't trust a ho, never trust a ho." That's just good sense.) It appears at about 2:01.

Ssh, girl, shut your lips.
Do the Helen Keller, and talk with your hips.

Now. At first, I felt like I should be offended. I mean, Helen Keller? Really? But the more I hear it, the more I chuckle and think it's pretty dang clever. Just me?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

And the book goes to....

Stephanie!
(Steph: You need to change your Blogger profile picture, seeing as you're now a brunette.)
I'm making good headway on book #2, so stay tuned!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Set Your Tivos

Justin Timberlake is hosting Saturday Night Live this week.






If they come up with anything half as funny as this, it will be worth tuning in. Enjoy.

Oh, and next Saturday (5/16), don't miss the season finale with none other than Will Ferrell.. All right, SNL. Way to bring it!

This commercial makes me laugh.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nostalgia

At dinner I was doing Crazy Cup Hand Man for my son. (You know, "I'm Crazy Cup Hand Man! I got a cup on my hand, and I'm crazy! Now give me some candy!") I was greeted with a blank stare. (Kids these days.) So I had to dig up this little gem for context.

In case you're wondering...

My "Katie's Book Pass-along" logo is actually a stamp. (I stamped the image on white paper and then scanned it.) I found it online at Modern Art Stamps, one of my latest Etsy faves.





These stamps are customizable, and most cost just $10 (plus $3.50 shipping). I think you could pair one with a nice ink pad for a fun wedding or housewarming gift.





She has dozens of styles. Here are a few:






One caveat: This Etsy seller lives in Costa Rica, so it took about 2 or 3 weeks for her to make it and get it to me. I was a little nervous about buying something from overseas, but I had an absolutely smooth transaction.


Check out her Etsy shop here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Katie's Book Pass-along: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County



For my first selection in Katie's Book Pass-along, I've chosen The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, by Tiffany Baker. First, let's take a moment to adore the cover. Aaaaaah.



Here's the synopsis from the author's Web site:

When Truly Plaice—part Behemoth, part Witch, part Cinderella—is born larger than life into a small-minded town, her birth rocks the pillars of tiny Aberdeen, New York, and breaks her family into smithereens. Truly spends a painful childhood in the shadow of her older sister Serena’s beauty and is teased mercilessly for her enormous physique. But when Serena unexpectedly leaves her son in Truly’s care, she must become the woman of a house she did not choose. Her brother-in-law, Doctor Robert Morgan, was one of her childhood tormentors and, as an adult, subjects her to brutal criticism, cruel medical testing, and degradation to the breaking point. It’s only when Truly finds her calling helping townspeople with herbal remedies that she begins to regain control of her life. However, unearthed family secrets will lead to a devastating betrayal that will break the Morgan family apart forever, and as Truly reckons with her own demons, she must come to terms with her role in Aberdeen’s destiny and the possibility of love in unexpected places.


I put this book on my to-read list after seeing Joshilyn Jackson's comments about it on her blog, and I'm glad I did. (BTW: Joshilyn Jackson is pretty much my favorite modern-day author, and her blog is hilarious.) It's Tiffany Baker's first book, and there's always something exciting about reading a debut novel. You're always taking a leap of faith. But with cover blurbs from Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants) and Joshilyn Jackson (gods in Alabama; Between, Georgia; and The Girl Who Stopped Swimming), I figured it was a pretty safe bet.


The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is captivating and character-driven, and I think the characters--particularly the larger-than-life Truly--will stick with me for a while. It's not flawless (the ending in particular seemed a little rushed), but I still think it's one you'll enjoy.


So. If you'd like to be the first Katie's Book Pass-along recipient, just leave a comment on this post before Friday at midnight. I'll pick a winner on Saturday morning, and ship the book off to its new home!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Best. Episode. Yet.


Does it get any better than this show? Doesn't Walt look weird with hair?

Introducing: Katie's Book Pass-along

I love to read, but lately it just hasn't been a priority. Some days I only read outside of work if the particular show I happen to be watching has subtitles. And then I'm annoyed. I spent about six weeks reading the latest John Grisham book...and only made it halfway through. This is a problem, see? Other things just seem to take precedence. Some are important. Some are playing Diner Dash on my iPhone.
In order to make reading a part of my routine again, I'm introducing a new feature on my blog. (Drum roll, please.) The deal: Every month or so, I'll read a book. Then I'll write about it here. You comment on my post, and I'll pick one reader at random to be the recipient of my book. Then I'll send it off to the winner in the mail, wherever he or she may live. All I ask is that when you're finished, you pass it along to someone else, and ask that person to do the same.
Sound fun? Am I the next Oprah?
Check back tomorrow for the first book! (I'm such a tease!) I have about 20 pages left, and I think you're going to like it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

You'll love this.

My friend Kim posted on our work moms blog about a new product: Germy Wormy. I know you'll enjoy this, so I'm posting it here too. According to the Web site, the "Germy Wormy Disposable Sleeves make learning CDC recommended coughing into your elbow FUN!"
You really need to watch the video to get the full effect.




Germy Wormys can be yours for $9.99 (for a pack of 25). I'm sure the Germy Wormy folks are going to make a fortune off of all of the paranoid parents who have been whipped into a swine-flu frenzy by the media.

Misled

I picked up lunch from Arby's today, mainly because I had a coupon for a free RoastBurger. Now, judging by their recent ad campaign, I assumed that this would be a healthier option to other fast-food choices. (Don't get me wrong...I realize that going through a fast-food drive-through isn't going to be a healthy choice.) Am I wrong? See what you think.




I guess I interpreted "never greasy" to mean "better for you." But when I checked out the nutritional info, it's actually worse for you than a McDonald's quarter pounder--more calories, saturated fat, everything. I think calling it a burger is misleading too! Really, it's just an Arby's roast beef sandwich with burger-like toppings. Suffice it to say I won't be eating this again soon.