Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Easter 2011

Our kids: Easter 2011

(if you would like to link up and share your own picture, visit Wordless Wednesday at Dear Crissy)

Book Giveaway WINNER - In Stitches A Memoir

Thanks to those that entered the giveaway for the book, In Stitches A Memoir. Winner will be notified via email. Please respond within 48 hours. The randomly selected winner is:

jasmine said...

That sounds like an inspiring book for me! I'm Korean-American, 26, and heading to Med School. Ahhh
April 23, 2011 1:45 PM

Teaser Tuesdays - April 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

•Grab your current read
•Open to a random page
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here's what I'm currently reading:

Beautiful Dead
by Eden Maguire

Teaser (pg. 60):

"After a lot of stumbling, I reached the tower, glad of one thing - that there was no force field set up by the Beautiful Dead to keep me out. Tonight I didn't have the energy to battle the wings and the death-heads."

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Welcome To The Rileys

After losing their daughter eight years ago, Doug and Lois are simply going through the motions of daily life. Neither of them can really seem to face what happened or figure out how to share their grief with one another. When Doug is in New Orleans on a business trip, he meets a troubled young stripper/call girl who also seems to be fumbling through life. Doug decides that he wants to help this girl. In doing so, he also discovers that she just might bring some hope to his relationship with Lois.

I'm a fan of both James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo and thought they were both pretty amazing in this movie. I wasn't really a fan of Kristen Stewart as the young stripper - it's not that she wasn't convincing, she was. But, she always seems the same to me no matter what role she's playing. It was no different this time around, other than her extreme potty mouth throughout the entire movie. Still, I did really like this movie. It was sad and moving.

Rated R for VERY strong sexual content, brief drug use and pervasive language involving a teenager

Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review - Across Eternity by Aris Whittier

I recently had the opportunity to review the book, Across Eternity by Aris Whittier.

When Logan Richards was just a small boy, a girl suddenly appeared to him. Not an imaginery friend, but, a kindred soul who was always at his side. No one else could see this girl, or even knew that she existed. But, for Logan, she was his best friend and constant companion. He knew, even at his young age, that she was his soulmate. Years later, during adolescence, things changed. The girl told Logan that she was going away. It was time for her to be born into the real world. And, once she became part of the real world, she would no longer remember Logan and their special times together. It would be up to him to find her, somewhere out there in the world, and help her remember.

Now, Logan Richards is a highly successful businessman. He has money and power but is still missing something. That girl who meant so much to him as a child, that he spent years dreaming of after she was gone...he simply knows he has to find her to be complete. And, find her he does - a waitress named Amber who works in one of his restaurants. Amber feels an instant connection to Logan, but she doesn't quite understand it. Will he be able to make her remember their special bond and fulfill their destiny? And, will an unforeseen twist tear them apart or make their relationship even more meaningful?

This is a love story that transcends time. It's a quick, romantic read. There are certain things about the story that do not unfold right away, and when they do, it's pretty heart-wrenching (you may want to have some tissues nearby). I like the mystical and spiritual aspects of Logan and Amber's relationship. It's a little different from the typical romance novels and the story twist that eventually unfolds was very unexpected.

You can find Across Eternity for Kindle on Amazon.com. Also, for more information on author Aris Whittier, please visit her website.

Author Aris Whittier provided me with a free Kindle version of this book for review. No compensation was received and I was not obligated to post this review. All opinions are my own.

Kentucky Derby T-Shirt Giveaway WINNER

Thanks to everyone that entered my giveaway for the Kentucky Derby T-Shirt. The randomly selected winner is...

Tammy said...

Since we are so far NW, they don't talk alot about the Kentucky Derby other than highlights on the news. It sounds like fun...
I would be a Large.
April 16, 2011 11:40 PM

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-04-25 11:52:11 UTC

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Random Things My Kids Have Said Lately

"When I was in kindergarten, I had to get married"
-when my youngest son was in kindergarten, they held a mock wedding of sorts called "The Q and U Wedding". It was meant to demonstrate how the letters Q and U go together to form words. My son was chosen as the "Q" or the groom. It was a lot of fun, something the teacher does every year. They actually wore dresses and suits, had flowers and an aisle to walk down and an officiant who presided over the ceremony. After the ceremony, the wedding party paraded through the hallways with the bride and groom in a wagon (the wagon was dragging tin cans and said "just married").

"I have lots of options. There are plenty of fish in the sea"
-this was what my almost-18-year-old son said to me as we were recently discussing his dating situation. Ahh, he's so wise'o)

"X-name Mall has the best terrain for stalking cute boys. Y-name Mall is just too big and you end up losing them"
-my 14-year-old daughter said this. We were discussing two of our local shopping malls and which we liked the best. Can you tell she is a boy-crazy teenager?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Giveaway - In Stitches A Memoir by Anthony Youn M.D.

~This Giveaway Is Now Closed~

You may remember that I recently had the opportunity to review the book In Stitches A Memoir by Anthony Youn M.D. (Click here to read my review post) It's the witty and heartfelt story of Anthony Youn - how he grew up as an awkward and geeky Korean-American in Michigan through his grueling days of medical school, where he ultimately found his calling as a highly successful plastic surgeon.

Check out the following links for more information:

The book is being released on April 26, 2011. You can pre-order In Stitches at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Borders Books.

Sneak Attack Media has generously offered to give away a copy of the book In Stitches to one Alas 3 Lads reader. Giveaway is open to US/Canada residents only. Random winner will be selected on April 26, 2011.

To enter: simply leave a comment on this post. Please make sure I have valid contact information for your entry.

For optional extra entries:
1) Follow @alas3lads on twitter
2) Follow @TonyYounMD on twitter

Sneak Attack Media provided me with a free copy of this book for review. They are also providing the free copy for giveaway to one of my blog readers. No compensation was received to post and all opinions are my own.


Monday, April 18, 2011

It Feels Like Things Are Changing

One of our big things is that we've always tried really hard to sit down together as a family for dinner. We have four kids and when they were all little, we got into the habit of doing things a certain way. When dinner was ready, the kids would all take their seats at the table while my husband and I prepared their plates. We dished out their helpings of veggies and chopped up their meat. And, it became an unspoken rule that milk was the beverage of choice for dinner. Our little "mom-and-dad-assembly line" just made it easier for us to quickly get food on the table so that we could all sit down and enjoy our meal together.

Now, as our kids are getting older, it feels like things are changing. They are now ages 10, 12, 14, and 17. They no longer need us to fix their plates or cut up their meat into bite-size pieces. And besides that, it's become more and more difficult for us to even be able to meet up together at the dinner table. Our oldest is almost 18. He has a part-job and his own car. When he's not working, he's usually at the gym or hanging out with his friends. He will graduate from high school in 6 short weeks. It's like I can physically feel him pulling away from us. Of course, I know this is natural. That's what almost-18-year-olds are supposed to do. It's not that there are any problems; he's just searching for some independence as he finds his way between being a kid and a young man. But, it's hard and I truly feel like something is being torn from me.

Then, there's our daughter. She is almost 15 and pretty much a typical teenage girl. Boycrazy! Very concerned with how she looks and what she's wearing. More and more, she's doing her own thing, too. Going to school functions, ballgames, etc. All this means another often empty chair at the dinner table.

The two youngest boys both play baseball. Many nights, practice or games fall right around - what time? You guessed it. Dinner time. It just seems like our family time around the dinner table is happening less and less.

I know our kids have to grow up and things will change. And, I couldn't be more happy and proud of the people they are becoming as they grow. But, a little part of me really misses all six of us sitting around the dinner table each night. Loud voices talking over one another, giggles, little boy burps, requests for more milk...

What about you? Do you have any special thoughts or memories about family time at the dinner table? For those of you with teens (or older), how did you deal with it when you first started feeling the pangs of them pulling away?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Kentucky Derby T-Shirt Giveaway

~This Giveaway Is Now Closed~

It's officially Kentucky Derby time again! I thought it would be fun to once again offer a Kentucky Derby T-shirt for giveaway. But first, here's a repost from last year that I did telling you a little bit more about our Derby Festival events...


Being a Kentuckian my entire life, this time of year is always exciting. The Kentucky Derby, and all the great events leading up to it, are a fun and historic tradition around here. Here's a little information about The Kentucky Derby from Wikipedia:

"The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival and is widely considered the most prestigious horse race in the world. The race is one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57.2 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg). The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and is followed by the Preakness Stakes then the Belmont Stakes. The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders' Cup."

"In addition to the race itself, a number of traditions play a large role in the Derby atmosphere. The Mint Julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and a sugar syrup is the traditional beverage of the race. The historic drink can be served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup but most Churchill Downs patrons sip theirs from a souvenir glass printed with all previous Derby winners. Also, burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby."

"The infield, a spectator area inside the track, offers general admission prices but little chance of seeing much of the race. Instead, revelers show up in the infield to party with abandon. By contrast, "Millionaire's Row" refers to the expensive box seats that attract the rich, the famous and the well-connected. Women appear in fine outfits lavishly accessorized with large, elaborate hats. As the horses are paraded before the grandstands, the University of Louisville marching band plays Stephen Foster's 'My Old Kentucky Home'."

Check out some of these fun festivities leading up to the Derby:

Chow Wagon on the Waterfront - food feasts and live music on the river
Thunder Over Louisville - huge airshow & fireworks display
Pegasus Parade
Great Balloon Race
The Great Steamboat Race
Run For The Rose'
Great Bed Races
...and much, much more. There are concerts, parties, luncheons, wine fests, and all kinds of celebrations. It's really a terrific time to be in Louisville!

Even though I have lived in or around Louisville all my life, I've only attended The Kentucky Derby once. It was a spectacular experience and watching the horses parade by as they played "My Old Kentucky Home" was truly moving. I tried a mint julep and I have to admit it was one of the worst things I've ever tasted, LOL! But, it was fun to dress up and wear a pretty hat and then get to see it all in person.

I thought it would be fun to share some hometown pride and offer a little giveaway. Up for grabs is a Kentucky Derby T-Shirt. If you would like to enter, please leave a comment on this post. Tell me whether or not you will be watching or celebrating the Kentucky Derby in any way. Also, tell me your shirt size (Adult S, M, L, or XL) in your comment. I'll pick a random winner and then choose a cool Kentucky Derby T-Shirt just for you.
Giveaway will end at 11:00 pm EST on April 23, 2011
U.S. entries only

*This is not a sponsored giveaway. The T-shirt for giveaway is being supplied by me.

Aloha Friday - Fill in the Blank

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer - nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Fill in the blank:

I really wish I knew how to ___________________________________

(I really wish I knew how to knit, play the piano, and speak a foreign language.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Purex Complete With Zout - Product Review

As a busy mom to four kids, laundry is something I deal with on a daily basis. I literally do several loads just about every day; it's the only way for me to stay on top of it and keep my dirty clothes piles from getting out of control. And, with two sons that play baseball, dirt and stains are something I also deal with a lot. I have been a dedicated Purex user for years for two simple reasons: 1) it works and 2) it's cheaper than most other leading laundry products. I was excited to hear about this new detergent that Purex now offers. It's called Purex Complete with Zout (Triple Enzyme Stain Remover). Let me tell you a little about it...

Purex Complete with Zout is a detergent and pre-treater, all in one. It contains three powerful stain-fighting enzymes that each target a different type of stain -
  • Protease: works against protein based stains such as grass and blood
  • Amylase: works against starchy stains such as chocolate and tomato sauce
  • Mannanase: works against guar, which is used as a thickener in many foods, such as ice cream and barbecue sauce. Guar is really sticky and can cling to fabrics, making it a difficult stain to remove.
Purex Complete with Zout can be used both as a pre-treater and a detergent making it great for everyday laundry as well as heavily soiled loads. I love a product that can multi-task and make things easier for me. It's formulated to work in both traditional and High Efficiency (HE) washers. And, Purex Complete with Zout is a great value! It is priced from $3.49-$7.99 (depending on size and retailer).

It's available in Fresh Morning Burst and Free & Clear formulas. I personally tried out the Free & Clear version and was very happy with it's performance. I normally use Free & Clear detergents in my daily laundry, so it's nice to finally have one that also boasts an added stain fighter. Purex Complete with Zout is the first Free & Clear detergent to do this.

Look for Purex Complete with Zout at Walmart, Target, Kroger, and Publix.

As a member of Purex Insiders, I was given a free bottle of this detergent to try out in my home. All opinions are my own and no compensation besides the free product was received.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Totally Random Stuff

1. There's something truly wonderful about sleeping in a bed with fresh, clean sheets. If it wasn't such a chore, I would put fresh sheets on my bed each night.

2. For some reason, I always randomly look at the clock when it happens to be 4:44. Coincidentally, 444 happens to be an address of a house where we used to live. ~insert creepy Twilight Zone theme song here~

3. I'm currently in the midst of an intense battle with Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. And the Eggs are winning!  Seriously, I could eat them all day.

4. Are you a fan of the book The Hunger Games? Did you hear the news about who has been cast to play Katniss, Gale, and Peeta? I'm really happy about Katniss, but, the boys...well, I'm a little devastated.

5. The Suite Life of Zach and Cody on Deck or whatever it's called is the most annoying show ever!

6. What's up with phone books? Every time I turn around I feel like I'm finding a new phone book that has been dropped off at my front door. Seriously, I think we get new phone books several times a year. Doesn't this seem like a waste of paper?

7.  YES! I'm so happy! One of my favorite tv series of all times is finally coming back on this week - Friday Night Lights. Sadly, it will be the final season. If you haven't watched it, it's really a great show. If you have Netflix, it's definitely a good one to add to your queue.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Movie Trailer Tuesday - According To Greta

Feeling lost and mad at the world, Greta is shipped off to the Jersey Shore for a summer with her grandparents. With her, she brings a journal that contains a bucket list - things she wants to do before she dies. And, since she plans on killing herself before turning 18, she figures she doesn't have much time. Will her grandparents be able to get through to Greta with their unconditional love?

Rated PG-13 - Mature thematic material, some sexual content and drug references

Monday, April 11, 2011

Babysitting Rates

I know it's not really proper etiquette to discuss incomes and pay rates and such, but, I'm sorta going to do it anyway. You see, I'm curious about what today's babysitters are being paid. We have never had to pay someone to babysit our kids - I'm a stay-at-home mom and on the occasional outings when we needed childcare, we always relied on grandparents. Now, our children are older and no longer need babysitters. Specifically, our daughter is almost 15 and she has started to test the waters with a few babysitting jobs in the neighborhood. I think it will be a great experience for her. She will be able to earn a little spending money while also demonstrating some independence and responsibility. We have several families on our street that she may be able to sit for occasionally and I like knowing that I'm close by if she needs help.

The big question for us is....how much should she charge? We honestly have no idea. Her first few times that she babysat last summer, she did it for free and used the time for her required service hours in Jr. Beta Club. But, now she is ready to babysit for a fee. We just need to determine what the fee should be.

So, if you are not opposed to sharing, I would love to hear your thoughts. Parents, what do you think is a fair rate to pay a teenage babysitter? Or, if you have a teen who babysits, what kind of rates do they charge?

Hopefully, I haven't offended anyone by bringing up this topic. I know some people are very particular about discussing monetary earnings.

Senior Year Expenses

Our oldest son, Cameron, will be graduating high school in just a few short weeks. Within a 7 day period, he will both turn 18 and graduate from high school. And, while we couldn't be more proud, we have learned that senior year is turning out to be somewhat expensive. Here's our tab:

Parking Permit for School Year - 25.00

Senior Class Dues - 30.00

Senior Field Trip/Day Cruise - 15.00

Senior Portraits - 500.00

Cap, Gown, and Senior Tee-Shirt - 66.00

Graduation Announcements - 88.00

Senior Class Trip To Florida/Disney World - 349.00

Yearbook - 67.00

Prom Ticket - 40.00

Tuxedo Rental for Prom - 150.00-200.00

Limo Rental for Prom - 60.00

Total       $1390.00-1440.00

Of course, I realize some of the above items are optional.  But, we want his senior year to be full of good memories. He works a part-time job (which he has been at for almost 18 months), he pays for half of his auto insurance, and most of his gas and "fun/going out" money. He's a good kid with a wicked sense of humor and I'm so happy to be his mom!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Evil Controllers

Evil Controllers is a cool company that makes customized Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 controllers. They start with brand new sealed Microsoft controllers and customize them with programming modifications, aesthetic modifications like Evil D-Pad and Evil Sticks (which improve comfort and accuracy for the player), imaging patterns such as Pink Camo and Red Skullz, as well as offering an entire line of accessible controllers for gamers with disabilities. They also offer gamers the option to send in queries for custom made controllers unique to them.

The standard accessible controllers include:
  • Righty and Lefty controllers, inspired by war veterans missing a limb, where buttons have been moved on the front and back of the controller to enable a player to game with one hand
  • Sensitive buttons, which allow for games who cannot exert as much force to play based more on touch instead of strength
  • Thumb stick click modifications, which allow for the thumb stick click option to be moved to other areas of the controller, since that is very difficult for gamers with limited mobility to be able to do

Evil Controllers also offers more custom controllers, which can be built for those with specific disabilities. For example, they sawed a controller in half to make a split controller for a gamer who could not move his hands inward; therefore, they made the Xbox 360 controller into two pieces so he could use them separately at a comfortable location. They also designed a controller for professional quadriplegic gamer who operates the controller they built him with his upper and lower lip, cheek, and jaw.

The Lefty

The Split Controller

Check out the Evil Controllers website for more information.

Evil Controllers provided me with information used in this post. I received no compensation of any type for posting.

A to Z Meme

I saw Tammy post this A to Z meme over at her blog, Tammy's Two Cents. I thought it would be the perfect thing to play along with on this Saturday morning. (I really should be cleaning, doing laundry, heading to the grocery - but this sounds like more fun;o)

A. Age: 41

B. Bed size: King

C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning floors - loathe it! I would scrub toilets till the cows come home - just don't want to clean the hardwood floors.

D. Dogs: Emma, our 6 yr. old Airedale Terrier

E. Essential start to your day: A cup or two of black coffee

F. Favorite color: Gray

G. Gold or silver: I like both

H. Height: 5'7"

I. Instruments you play(ed): I took piano for about 3 years as a kid. It's one of my biggest regrets that I didn't continue. One of my "bucket list" items is to learn to play Claire de Lunes on the piano.

J. Job title: Homemaker

K. Kids:  Sons - ages 17, 12, 10   Daughter - age 14

L. Live: Kentucky

M. Mom’s name: Carol

N. Nicknames: None (that I know of, LOL)

O. Overnight hospital stays: Only the four times I gave birth

P. Pet peeves: Chewing with your mouth open, leaving the toilet seat up, people not using turn signals,

Q. Quote from a movie:  "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in"  - Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather III (I'm a big fan of The Godfather movies)

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: I have an older sister and two older brothers

T. Time you wake up: On schooldays, I wake up around 7:00. Non-school days anywhere from 8:30-9:30

U. Underwear: Yes!

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Turnips

W. What makes you run late: Waiting too long to start getting ready and then time somehow gets away from me.

X. X-rays you’ve had: Routine chest x-ray and mammogram

Y. Yummy food you make: Cooking is not my thing. But, I guess I make decent soup - potato and vegetable are my favorites

Z. Zoo Animal Favorites: Gorillas

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Make Money With Sponsored Tweets

SponsoredTweets referral badge

Are you familiar with Sponsored Tweets? It is an online marketplace that allows you to connect directly with advertisers to engage in sponsored conversations through Twitter. Advertisers compensate you with cash in exchange for a sponsored tweet. If you have a Twitter account, it's super easy to get started. Visit SponsoredTweets.com to sign up. Then, set your price, add a category and some keywords and wait for offers to come in from advertisers. You always have the option of whether or not you want to participate in any offers that come your way - simply accept or decline. It's really that easy. If you accept an offer, your account will be credited within 24 hours of your tweet. You can cash out once your account reaches $50. Check out the site for all the fine print details and further information about their Code of Ethics and 100% Disclosure. Also, feel free to email with any questions.

I participate in Sponsored Tweets and the above link/badge contain my referral link

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hurry Back!

Poor Emma! Our dog misses us so much when we leave the house. I snapped this photo from my car as I was about to back out of the driveway. Can you see her cute face in the window? She's probably thinking, "hurry back!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Book Review - Jane by April Lindner


by April Lindner

When Jane Moore's parents unexpectedly die, she is left with virtually nothing. No money and certainly no support from her uncaring and distant siblings. She is forced to drop out of college and find a way to support herself. Jane takes a job as nanny to young Maddy. Maddy's father is the ultra-famous rock star, Nico Rathburn. While Nico enjoyed much fame, fortune, and notoriety throughout his career, he has been spending his recent time living in seclusion with his daughter at his grand estate, Thornfield Park. Now, he's working on a comeback - new music, photo shoots, world-wide tours - the whole shebang! Nico and Jane come from totally different worlds. Jane is sensible and honest. She never felt love or appreciation from her family so she is somewhat of a loner. At Thornfield Park, she quickly becomes attached to little Maddy. For once, she begins to feel useful and part of a home. She also finds herself drawn to Nico and the two soon embark on a romantic relationship. But, strange occurrences happen at Thornfield Park that leave Jane on edge. Why is she forbidden to go to the third floor of the estate? Who is the mysterious servant that resides on the third floor? And, when these strange occurrences turn dangerous, Jane and Nico's relationship is put to the test. 

Just as Jane was drawn to Nico, I was drawn to this book. First of all, I love the cover. It's mysterious and gothic, showing a lone girl in a beautiful but haunting gray background. As soon as I flipped the book over to the back, these words also drew me in: "What if Jane Eyre fell in love with a rock star?" I knew I had to read this modern retelling of the classic Jane Eyre. The story moves along at a nice pace and I like Thornfield Park as the setting. It's easy to see how Jane falls for Nico - he's brooding and tortured but also hot. Jane sees something in him beyond his wild rock-star past and reputation. While I like the character of Jane, there were a few times I found myself wanting to shout at her, "are you crazy?" But, in the end, the story works itself out in a very satisfying way. A really good, romantic read!

Movie Trailer Tuesday - I'm With Lucy

I LOVE this movie! Very cute and funny romantic comedy. Lucy is about to get married. But, to whom, we do not yet know. Flash back a bit and Lucy has just been dumped by "the" perfect guy. Finding herself single, she agrees to go on a series of blind dates. The film goes back and forth among this series of dates and leaves us trying to guess which guy will ultimately become her groom. Monica Potter is great as Lucy (I'm a big fan of her in NBC's Parenthood). If you like a good chick-flick, you will love this movie.

Rated R for some sexuality

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Book Review - In Stitches A Memoir

In Stitches
A Memoir
Anthony Youn M.D.
with Alan Eisenstock

Anthony Youn M.D. is a board-certified plastic surgeon with a private practice in Michigan. He has made several tv appearances on programs such as Dr. 90210, The Rachael Ray Show, The O'Reilly Factor and more. This book tells his story - from growing up in Michigan as a Korean-American through his college and medical school days.

Raised by strict, traditional Korean parents, Anthony (Tony) Youn knew from an early age that his future path would lead him to become a doctor. His father, a physician himself, made it clear that becoming a surgeon was the only way Tony would be successful. And while Tony wasn't always sure he even wanted to become a doctor, he always studied hard and excelled in school. We follow Tony through his awkward teenage and early college years - where besides his schoolwork, his main interest is girls. We read about his grueling days in medical school, where he finally realizes his purpose, his calling - to be a plastic surgeon.

I really enjoyed reading In Stitches. It was easy to read and heartfelt. The reader gets an inside look at the high-pressured, stressful life of a medical student - from practicing suturing skills on a pig's foot that Tony kept in his freezer, to the crazy and sometimes scary interactions with psychiatric patients. It's a tremendously difficult journey. There are lots of laugh-out-loud moments in the book as well as many poignant moments. I found myself laughing and crying throughout.

Check out this excerpt from the book:

At our first class, Dr. Gaw hands out equipment, including latex gloves, goggles, and what I really want, nose plugs, which I stuff into my nostrils, hoping to at least partially deflect the stench. The nose plugs don’t help, so except for gloves, I go commando. I figure I might as well get used to the smell. I’ll have to, if I ever do become a real doctor. Most of the other first-years wear as much protective covering as possible. One guy, a gunner, shows up on the second day of anatomy wearing a hazmat suit. The whole ball and tackle. Goggles and ventilation mask. Dr. Gaw says nothing, but I think I see her scowl flutter, and I imagine her dropping Hazmat’s grade.

Tim and I scramble to find seats together. Tim, I’ve learned by now, has exactly zero mechanical aptitude. A week into medical school, we’ve eliminated the possibility that he will ever become a surgeon. He struggles to pull on his gloves. This first day, I face him and yank them on for him. Once they’re secure, I turn back and find Dr. Gaw standing over me. She reeks of formaldehyde. She holds a moist body part in one bony gloved hand.

“Dr. Youn.”

How the hell does she know my name?

“Yes, Dr. Gaw?”

“Which valve of the heart am I holding?”

Am I glad she said heart. I thought she was holding a liver. I take a shot. “Mitral valve?”

“Congratulations.” Do I detect a trace of a Nazi accent? “This is the aortic valve.” She spits the words at me. “You have the deductive ability of a monkey. I pity your future patients, Dr. Youn.”

She limps away.

Tim whispers, “If it makes you feel any better, I thought it was the small intestine.”

Dr. Gaw suddenly materializes in front of Tim. Where did she come from? It’s as if she stepped out of a fog.

“Do you have something to add to the class, Dr. O’Laughlin?”

“Me? No. Not at all. Not at the moment.”

“I assumed as much. If you have any reasonable hope of passing this class, I would suggest that you and Dr. Youn refrain from talking and joking and making fools of yourselves. Oh, and a helpful suggestion. As doctors, you will find it useful if you can distinguish the heart from the small intestine.”

I’m shaken. I’ve never found myself in such unfamiliar territory. Academically—from elementary school through college—I have always excelled. I’m the school scholar, the student hotshot, the freaking valedictorian. Within seconds, Dr. Gaw has trashed all that. To her, I’m the class idiot.

I’m left with two choices. I can shrink away. Or I can bounce back.

It takes me two seconds to decide.

I am going to dominate anatomy.

Starting tomorrow.

You can preorder In Stitches at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Borders Books. And, if you preorder the book now, you can enter to win prizes like a free iPad, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook and a Grand Prize of $1000 in nonsurgical treatments of your choice at YOUN Plastic Surgery! Visit the In Stitches website for all the details on how to enter the giveaway.

Sneak Attack Media provided me with a free review copy of the book, In Stitches. I was not paid to post and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday 9: - Hey Nineteen

I'm participating in Saturday 9, the weekly meme where each Saturday there's a list of 9 questions for you to answer. Sometimes the questions revolve around a theme, other times they are just random. Post your answers on your blog and then visit Saturday 9 to link up and visit other participants.

Saturday 9: Hey Nineteen

1. What was the best thing about being 19? - Oh this is easy (and sorta shallow)...my body. I had not yet had any children and everything was still nice and slim and firm and where it was supposed to be.

2. Where would you go if you wanted to spark your creativity? - browse some of my favorite online sites: arts & crafts and design blogs and Etsy

3. Complete this sentence: I am embarrassed when... - my kids fuss and fight in public

4. Name 3 fads from your teenage years. - big hair, pegged jeans, parachute pants (I can proudly say I never wore the latter of these)

5. What's the best birthday present you've ever had? - hmmm...this is a tough one because I don't really get very many birthday presents. I guess I would say my 40th birthday because my sister and I went on a girls' weekend shopping trip.

6. What's your oldest possession?an antique bow-front china cabinet that belonged to my grandmother

7. Do you have any phobias? - I have a huge fear of being in, around, or anywhere near deep water

8. This is pretty much the start of Spring (regardless of the snow in the east this week!); what's on your to-do list for the next few weeks to transition away from this long Winter we've been having? - get our yard and back porch cleaned up and hopefully buy some new outdoor furniture; also, we are thinking about attempting our first ever vegetable garden so we need to figure out how the heck to go about doing that

9. Which of the 50 states in the U.S. would you rather die than live in? - California - just because I would worry about earthquakes, fires, etc. and because it's such a liberal state

Friday, April 1, 2011

Aloha Friday - Separation Anxiety

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday, hosted by Kailani over at An Island Life. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day to take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So, on Fridays we can take it easy on blog posting, too.

I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer - nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, visit An Island Life where you can link up with your own question and also visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Next week is Spring Break in our little corner of the world. We don't have any trips or major adventures planned. We will just relax at home and maybe catch a movie or visit the zoo. DH and the boys may spend a day doing some fishing. That's about it. We are letting our 14 year old daughter go out of town with her best friend's family. This will be the first time we've let one of our kids travel without us for that length of time. The longest I've been away from any of my kids is 2-3 days max, and that was only on a few rare occasions. I'm totally comfortable with the family that she's going with and I know she will have a great time. I am, however, experiencing some major stress just because she will be away from home. I do not like it when any of my kids or husband are away from home; I'm a big worrier and just feel better when all of my people are safe and sound at home. But, I know that we have to give our kids some freedom and let them stretch their wings as they go out into the world. I will probably bug the heck out of my daughter, texting her and checking in all the time, LOL!

So, my question(s) for you this week.....

1) Are you a big worrier or are you more laid-back?

2) If you are a parent, what's the longest you've been separated from your child(ren)?