2 Book Reviews: Monster Island & Before I Go To Sleep

I finished Monster Island by David Wellington a few weeks ago and it wasn't exactly what I was expecting when I pulled it off the shelf at the library. I was in the mood for another zombie book and this came up on the library search. It is the first in a series of three books and I thought if I liked it enough, I'd read the next two. The beginning half of the book was pretty good. The basic story starts a short time after a global disaster and zombies inhabit most of the earth. A man who works for the U.N. as a weapons inspector lives in Somalia with his daughter. He and a group of teenage girl soldiers have to travel to New York City in seach of medicine for one of the countries leaders. However, NYC is crawling with zombies. Among the dead is one zombie who was a doctor in life and managed to retain his intelligence after being bitten. So far so good. Then something really weird happened and a mummy showed up who somehow could rule all the zombies with his thoughts. All the zombies had to build this shrine thing and they were going to take over the world. I don't know it got really weird with the mummies and the zombies being controlled. It took me way longer than it should have to finish the book because toward the end it was just not my cup of tea. I'm not going to continue the series and I think I'm over zombie books for a while.

I also just finished reading the book club book from July, Before I Go To Sleep by S.J.Watson. I wasn't able to get it at the library to read in time for book club but my friend Shannon let me borrow it after she had finished it. Everyone was saying how much they liked it and that the ending was a total twist so I had to borrow it!! It was most definitely a "page turner" as people say. It only took a few days to read because it was so good and suspensful I just couldn't put it down! The story is about a woman who has lost her memory over 20 years prior and wakes up every morning with no idea where she is or who the man in her bed is. We are lead to believe that she has tried all different treatments to help regain her memory but nothing works. She lives with her husband who has pictures all around the house to remind her of her life and he has to tell her who she is every morning. When I read the description it reminded me of '50 First Dates' with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. Some of the girls said it was similar to the movie 'Momento' but I've never seen it so I have no idea. Throughout the book the woman starts secretly seeing a doctor who believes he can help her. She starts keeping a journal that she writes in every day and then reads every morning to remind her of what her last few days have been like. We find out eventually that her husband has been keeping things from her, what really caused her memory loss, facts about her family, her friends, etc. The ending is soooo good and not at all what I was expecting!! I really suggest if you are looking for a good read to pick this one up!



Baby Dragon Ami

A few weeks ago at work my mom said "I gotta get you to make me a little critter for my desk too!"
Let me preface with the fact that my mom, sister and I all work together. I had made Jessie these little amis for her desk for Christmas last year. So apparently my mom wanted one too. The thing is, my mom isn't "into" little woodland creatures like Jessie is...
She does however love dragons. My mom has dragon paraphernalia all over her house, some shirts, even a tattoo. It was pretty obvious that I should make her one. I scoured the interent, etsy, ravelry, craftster, etc. looking for a dragon pattern to buy. None of the ones I found really struck my fancy. There was one that was adorable but all the reviews I read of the pattern said it was difficult to make sense of the directions and most people said they had to make a lot of the pieces more than once. Seeing as I am a self proclaimed "procraftinator" I only had a few days to make this guy. After getting discouraged that I wouldn't find a pattern I liked or one that wouldn't take forever, I decided I would try and wing my own. Not entirely though, I basically pieced together a few patterns I already had. I used and altered the body, ears and tail of the fox pattern I made Jessie, I used the wing pattern from this bat and then figured out how to make spikes on my own. I also figured out how to make a cube style pattern for the snout. I am insanely pleased with how this little dude turned out and that I was able to alter some patterns to work for me and figured out other parts on my own. My mom really loves him and her baby dragon now has a home on her desk at work!

Here's a front shot of him.

Here are a side and back shot so you can see his spikes and tail.

I wanted to show you a pic of me holding him to get a good size reference.

Have a crafty kinda day kids!




The first week of August Jeremy and I went to Daytona Beach, Florida and it was amazing! Not working for a whole week or worrying about chores and being at the beach almost every day was pretty much heaven. I thought I'd share some of our vacay with you, mostly pictures.

The place we stayed is a timeshare so it was actually condos as opposed to hotel rooms. A lot of Jeremy's family was there as well. We stayed with his mom and her boyfriend. His Aunt Penny, her daughter in law and 3 grandkids were in another room. His sister and her boyfriend had their own room too. The condo faces the beach and has an aaaamazing view! This is the view from our room the first night we got there.

This is the beach in the morning. It was really weird to me that cars are allowed to drive on the beach. Not even cars that you think COULD drive on a beach like an suv or truck, anyone can. We saw sooo many people get stuck in the sand.

There were pelicans EVERYWHERE!! I don't think I have ever seen a pelican before but I sure got my fill. I really loved them, they flew right by our room and they are freaking huge! Like pteradactyls!! In the morning when we woke up I loved watching the pelicans sitting on the water, flying around and diving right into the water and then coming up with their beaks full of fish!

I also could not get enough of just sitting on the beach during the day under an umbrella, reading, relaxing and watching the birds.

One day there was this guy just sitting in the water drinking beers and he caught a freaking starfish!

Then as we were just sitting there watching the water we saw dolphins swimming by!! In the morning we could see them swim by but we were usually still up on the deck and luckily we were at the beach this day early enough. Jeremy had just come out of the water and if he hadn't, he would have been right by them!! I have never seen dolphins that close to the shore before!

Almost every night we walked along the beach. We could walk from our hotel down to the boardwalk and back, it was about two miles total. Jeremy loved looking for and chasing all the sand crabs around.

One of the nights we walked I decided not to bring my camera because I had enough pictures of sand crabs. I will forever regret that decision. When we got out to the beach there were a bunch of kids walking with their dads. The one dad is Jeremy's mom's best friend's son (yes, we knew like 25 people at this place) and they have known each other since they were kids. We were all walking together and then Jeremy, his cousin in law and I stopped to chase around a sand crab. The rest of the group was about 50 feet ahead of us when I thought I faintly heard someone yell "TURTLE" I spun around to see one of the little boys running toward us screaming that there was a sea turtle. I don't know if you guys are aware but I LOVE sea turtles. I took off like a bat out of hell to where everyone was standing. There she was!! Just about into the water was a huge sea turtle!! We all just stood around and watched her push herself all the way into the water and disappear into the darkness. Everyone was so excited and someone said "I bet she laid eggs!" Instantly all the little boys took of running up the beach and I yelled super loud "STOP!!!" All I could envision were little boys smashing eggs, I have no idea why. I don't know these boys specifically but I do know boys like to smash things so I stereotyped them. I told them all that they couldn't go near the eggs and then the dads jumped in agreeing and told everyone that we should keep walking. I took note of where we were on the beach and when we got back to the room I looked in the little pamphlet left for us with maps, coupons, attractions, etc. and found what I was looking for. There was a whole page explaining that if you see yellow nets on the beach that it is a criminal offense to mess with them because the nets are protecting sea turtle eggs. There was also a phone number to call to report any sea turtles or anyone messing with the eggs. Now mind you, it was like midnight that we got back to the room. I called and left what must have been a 10 minute message! I swear if I had longitude and latitude I would have given it. I told them that we saw what I believed to be a green sea turtle going back into the ocean and we could see that there were tracks showing that she must have been farther up on the beach. I gave them very specific directions to where we saw her and my phone number. No one ever called me but we were on the deck drinking and about 45 minutes later we saw the beach patrol driving out to where I described!!!! We never saw any yellow nets but it made me very happy to know that someone actually went out there and looked SO quickly! Seeing that sea turtle completely made my life!

One day we took two of the kids down to the beach with us, Brandon and Samantha. This was the first ocean they've ever been to so it was pretty neat watching the two of them in the waves and playing in the sand. I also really enjoyed watching Jeremy interact with them. Their baby sister was there as well but she didn't come to the beach with us, watching Jeremy with her was pretty funny too! (can we say "baby fever", holy moly!)

Jeremy decided that the kids needed to be buried in the sand!

(Brandon was pretening he was dead and then a zombie...clearly he is an awesome kid!)

After that day at the beach I got some serious sunburn. It was my own damn fault. I had no intentions of leaving the umbrella so I didn't put on any sunscreen. Samantha asked me to please go in the water with her because she was sick of it just being boys. I went in for literally 20 minutes and got fried! So the next day Jeremy and I decided to do something other than go to the beach or pool. We went to the Marine Science Center which is this very amazing place where they rescue sea turtles and sea birds who are sick or injured, rehabilitate them and then put them back into the wild. First off they had a touch tank, I am like a 7 year old when there is a touch tank in sight!! All I want to do is pet the sting rays!

Outside there was a giant conch shell that you could take pictures in front of and Jeremy decided to start talking JUST as the camera went off, doh!

There was a little nature walk thing you could go on. It was really nice at first, to see all the different types of plants that grow down there. THEN Jeremy walked into a gigantic spider web that was up in a tree. We looked up and realized there were freaking hand sized spiders on webs strung up in mid air!!!!

After I was nice and skeeved out by the spiders that I imagined were plotting to pounce down on us at any moment, we went to the area where the birds were. There weren't as many "sea birds" as I imagined, only 2 pelicans and a seagull. The rest were eagles, owls, etc. One of the days we were on our deck watching the pelicans I started wondering where they nested. Whether they nested in trees and how we couldn't find any of these nests!! Turns out they nest on the ground!

This poor little guy was so hot, he was actually panting =(

On another note, the entire time we were in Florida it was Shark Week on Discovery Channel (seriously!)

Even Aunt Penny knew it was Shark Week

This is an island by a place we ate one night that was covered in pelicans!! I was so happy to finally see where they were all going at night.

One of the days we were there we went parasailing. That was so incredibly awesome!! While we were waiting for our boat to come in we milled around and saw lots of lizards and this bird just posted up practically asking to be photographed!!

He was sooo excited for parasailing!

So was I, haha!

I debated whether to bring my camera up with us or not but I am so glad I did! Byebye boat!!

(the shadow of our gigantic parachute looks so tiny at 2000 ft)

This is what we looked like from the boat, a tiny smiley face in the sky!

We had such a great time!!

I was totally surprised at how beautiful the beach was. I kept telling myself it's the Atlantic side of Florida so it was probably just like the Jersey shore I am so used to. I was sorely mistaken but I am glad I was! No rocks, barely any shells, no seaweed or anything!! There were some fish swimming and jumping around and all the pelicans were awesome too. It was a wonderful vacation and I wish I never had to come home. Waking up to breakfast in bed and eating lunch on the beach is pretty amazing!