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  • Friday Favorite – Sienna Commercials

    When my sister told me she and her husband were thinking about getting a minivan, I had a good chuckle. My trendy sister and fire-fighter/weight-lifter brother-in-law driving around in a minivan. It doesn’t exactly fit in my mind … but well … with another baby on the way necessitating a third car seat, Hannah says there just isn’t enough room in their little SUV for all the kids. Hence the minivan.

    I suggested one with wood paneling. Hannah said probably not. Apparently that’s not “cool” enough for them.

    In light of Hannah and John’s new purchase, I thought I’d share my absolute favorite new commercials: the family with the Toyota Sienna.

    I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

    I hope Hannah and John’s new ride matches their awesomeness!

    Why I Gave Up The Bachelor


    Confession: I’ve been a faithful watcher of The Bachelor and Bachelorette over the past years. I’ve only missed a couple seasons, but I’ve been really stuck on it over the last several seasons because the producers at ABC are very sneaky. Instead of selecting new Bachelors and Bachelorettes from outside the world Bachelor world, producers keep selecting previously rejected guys and gals.

    So what happens is that the viewers get emotionally invested in certain cast members, so when they return for later seasons, we feel compelled to watch their stories.

    Now I’m not claiming that The Bachelor is any sort of high-class, mentally-stimulating television, but it certainly is an interesting look at the desire to be in love and just how far people will go for 15 minutes of fame. And, of course, with each new episode comes “the most dramatic rose ceremony, EVER!” What’s not to love about that?

    My friends and roommates are also big fans of the show, so up until the most recent season, we spent a couple hours every Monday night trying to figure out which of the 25 Bachelorettes our Bachelor will select.

    But this season I decided to take myself out of that usual rhythm. Even though I watched Jillian dismiss Jake last season, I chose not to get invested in Jake’s search for the woman of his dreams. Not that I don’t like Jake–in fact I find him one of the best choices for Bachelor in many seasons. I just realized that I was spending 2 hours every week watching a show that would just suck me in for another 2 hours every week next season and the next and the next.

    Now that Jake’s season is almost over, I can look back on the last several weeks grateful for the hours I’ve saved. I don’t really feel like I’ve missed out on anything, even though Amy and Katie and Steph area still watching it. I hear things every now and then, but it’s a really freeing feeling not being caught up in a story that experience tells us will likely end badly for Jake and his chosen.

    I highly recommend giving up something you don’t need and freeing up some time for something you should do. In my case something like … writing. 🙂

    Teaser Tuesday – A Passion Most Pure

    teaser_tuesdays1MizB of Should Be Reading hosts the Teaser Tuesdays weekly event

    Here are the rules:
    * Grab your current read
    * Let the book fall open to a random page
    * Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12
    *You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
    * Please avoid spoilers!

    This week’s teaser is:
    “The tension in her body melted at the soothing sound of Mrs. Gerson’s voice, then seized in her chest as she jolted up in the bed. Collin … Charity … married. The thought of it was too much, and a choked sob wrenched from her lips.”
    pg. 163   – A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman

    – This book has come highly recommended, and even though I just started it, I totally see why. It’s a great start to an award-winning trilogy called The Daughters of Boston. I’m so glad my library had it for me to check out.


    Friday Favorite – Men from my favorite movies!

    I saw this on my friend Kaye’s blog, and it made me smile–no mean feat since I’ve picked up whatever has been making Amy cough up a lung all week. Thanks for the grin, Kaye. Hope everyone else enjoys this little montage of some of my favorite guys from Jane Austen and other period dramas. I think Bingley’s delightfully high hair made me smile the hardest. Of course, the inclusion of Mr. Rupert Penry-Jones from Persuasion automatically puts this on my favorites list.

    What are you watching?

    Have you been enjoying the Olympics this week? I sure have!

    I haven’t exactly made a secret of the fact that Evan Lysacek is one of my favorite figure skaters (if you don’t remember my previous post about him, check it out here), and last night he certainly didn’t disappoint. If you missed the Men’s Short Program, you missed some great skating. There was some okay skating. Then some good skating. A few great perfomances … and then the cream of the crop!

    At the end of the night, reigning World Champion Evan Lysacek is in 2nd place going into the Free Skate tomorrow night. In honor of his fantastic skating that had Amy and me on the edge of our seats, almost as if we were watching a football game, I would like to share a video of his Free Skate from last year’s World Championships in L.A., where he won the title. To win again tomorrow night, Evan will likely employ this strategy, executing each jump and spin with precision and artistry.

    And in case you don’t follow men’s figure skating closely (but why wouldn’t you?), the last US man to win Worlds and then go on to win an Olympic gold was Scott Hamilton in 1984. It’s about time, huh?

    Enjoy Evan’s performance … and the Olympics!

    Friday Favorite – A Vanlentine’s Wish

    a-valentines-wishI told you last week that I was reading A Valentine’s Wish by my good friend Betsy St. Amant. I confess that I kept getting interrupted while reading the first 11 chapters. I was frustrated that I didn’t have time to get lost in it. But then I came across this wonderful scene where our hero Andy and heroine Lori have a movie night and almost kiss. The romantic tension is palpable, and it’s so sweet!  From that time on, I practically locked myself in my room until I finished the book. I wasn’t going to delay my enjoyment any more.

    What a perfect read for Valentine’s Day. While I really liked Betsy’s first book from Love Inspired, Return to Love, I think A Valentine’s Wish is even better! It’s a classic love story of best friends with mixed signals. Their friendship is the most important thing to them, and the fear of injuring that friendship throws a wrench in Andy’s plans for love.

    In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m happy to share with you a short interview with Betsy St. Amant:

    What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day candy?
    I LOVE the SweetTart brand hearts with the messages written on them They just taste so much better than the old fashioned chalky ones! lol Now I want some, just talking about them!

    What’s the sweetest Valentine’s Day gift you’ve ever received?
    Hard question! I’ve gotten some nice things over the years. Roses, jewelry, candy, etc. Probably the sweetest was the year he sent me roses at work. I’d always wanted flowers delivered at work and never had that honor until then! It was a fun moment. I have to say though, I’ve been married five years though and I think the best holidays we’ve celebrated together have been the years we didn’t have much money and tried to get homemade and creative instead of blowing a bunch of cash on material items. (but of course, I have to admit, the material items are fun too!! lol) One thing is tried and true though, my husband will always get me a Snoopy Valentine card. betsy-st-amant1Snoopy is my favorite, and I can depend on that! =)

    Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day when you were single?
    I did, actually! As a child, teenager and young woman living at home, my parents always gave me some of my favorite candy and a fun surprise, like new socks or a bracelet or something nice to let me know they loved me. It was very thoughtful and sweeet and I plan on passing that tradition on to my baby girl! I already have her a sack full of goodies waiting for the big V-day!

    Why is your husband such a great valentine?
    I think my husband is a great valentine because he’s not your stereotypical romantic kind of guy…he’s an outdoorsman, a daredevil, a hunter and fisherman, a fireman, a real manly-man who’d rather go mud-riding on a four wheeler or chop down a tree than “talk about his feelings” or any of that stuff he finds mushy. ::grin:: But despite that, he’ll still make time to watch the occasional chick flick with me, buy my favorite candy at the store just because, or surprise me by involving our daugther in a homemade card. His romantic moments are that much bettter because they’re not every day, and I know they are truly from the heart! =)

    Don’t miss out on this great book! It’s a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the woman in your life who loves to read. Available at Walmart, CBD.com, Amazon.com, and other fine retailers. Don’t miss out!

    Congrats Steph and Mark!


    Tomorrow I’m going to a first for me–a wedding at the courthouse. My good friend Stephanie is getting married in a really small ceremony. I’m really honored to have been invited. I’m looking forward to seeing how this all works. Research for a future book? Maybe. A great time with friends? Definitely!

    Anyway, join me in wishing Steph and Mark all the best. May God direct your steps and be your focus.

    Teaser Tuesday – Seaside Letters

    teaser_tuesdays1MizB of Should Be Reading hosts the Teaser Tuesdays weekly event

    Here are the rules:
    * Grab your current read
    * Let the book fall open to a random page
    * Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12
    *You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
    * Please avoid spoilers!

    This week’s teaser is:
    “He wasn’t supposed to know who Sabrina was. Wasn’t supposed to know she had a cat allergy. What would happen if he suddenly had a cat?”
    pg. 77   – Seaside Letters by Denise Hunter

    – I’m enjoying this sweet love story set on Nantucket. The backcover makes it clear that our heroine Sabrina knows that our hero Tucker is her “secret” e-mail admirer. But she thinks Tucker has no idea who she is. Wrong! He totally knows, and that’s why he’s hired her to help find his “mystery” e-mail gal. He’s hoping it’ll open her up, and she’ll come clean about who she really is. I’m about a third of the way through the book, and while it’s not a super-fast read, it’s defintiely engaging.


    Wonky Website

    Hey guys, something wild and wonky is going on with my website right now. For some reason about half the time, it’s redirecting to random other sites, including some non-kosher ones. My apologies! We’re working to get it fixed so this won’t keep happening.