Thursday, July 30, 2015

Crochet: Fall Comfort Throw

Finished this blankie for my Sister-in-law's new niece. All done with Caron Simply Soft yarns. It did take me a while to finish, not because the pattern is hard, but I put this project on the side a few times. When I started it, it wasn't for anyone in particular so there was no rush to complete it.

This is actually the second blanket I've made from this pattern and I think it is very pretty. The pattern is free on Red Heart if you are interested. You can check my pattern page on Ravelry here for specifics in regards to the materials used.

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Books: July Wrap-Up

After failing my 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge, I'm happy to say that I am doing a great job so far this year. I have already exceeded the goal I set for myself, with the help of several manga that I have read in the last few months. Lately, I have been obsessed with BookTube. (Thanks Lee for introducing me to it! Her blog is - if you haven't checked it out, please do!) Anyway, that inspired this post, which I think would be a good addition to my blog and help me to post more often. Links to Goodreads are included below if you would like to read the summaries.

Starting off with my Surprise TBR Pick #2 for June Mona Lisa Darkening (Monère: Children of the Moon #4) by Sunny.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I picked this book as the Surprise TBR Pick #2, but had not read the 3rd book yet, so I switched to that one instead. These books can be read as stand alone novels, but there are elements that continue throughout. I prefer to read them in order for this reason. This was a pretty quick read for me and enjoyable. We get introduced to some new characters, well as and NetherHell, another realm in the world. There's only one more book currently out in this series, which was released quite a few years ago. Not sure if the author has plans to continue. Gave this one 4 stars.

Next up I read Mugen Spiral Vol 2 by Mizuho Kusanagi.

This was the last volume in the fantasy manga duology. A fast read and enjoyable, though the end was very open. 3 stars.

Continuing on with manga, I read Hayate Cross Blade Vol 2 & 3 by Shizuru Hayashiya

This series is just silly. After I read the first volume, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue. My daughter enjoys it though so I thought I'd just continue reading since she checked these out from the library. These were better, but still silly. 3 stars each.

Murder Princess Volume 2 by Sekihiko Inui

Another end to a duology. This one I found very interesting. Will need to watch the anime in the future. 4 stars.

Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Listened to most of it on audio at Scribd but towards the end, switched to eBook because I was anxious to see what was going to happen. The narrators were good, don't get me wrong, but I just got impatient =)

The book does end with a hint of suspense, but not a major cliffhanger in my opinion. All in all, an enjoyable read and am looking forward to the sequel. 4 stars.

Spellcasting in Silk (A Witchcraft Mystery #7) by Juliet Blackwell

As expected, another great read from Juliet Blackwell! I enjoyed watching Lily and Sailor's relationship grow, as well as both of them trying to get past some jealousy issues and insecurities. Looking forward to the next installment. 4 stars.

Grey by E.L. James

I also listened to this on Scribd. I have to admit, I did not like this as much as Fifty Shades of Grey. The narration was very slow, but I did enjoy learning Christian's history as well as the extra part at the end between where Fifty Shades ends and Darker begins. 3 stars.

Murder of Crows (Others #2) by Anne Bishop

Another audiobook from Scribd. I really enjoy this series, but this book I enjoyed just a smidgen less than Written in Red. The quest to find The Controller and the rest of the cassandra sangue was interesting though the mystery element of the story wasn't as exciting to me as it was in the first installment. Still a great read though and am looking forward to the next one. 4 stars.

And last but not least, Beautiful Monster (Beautiful Monster #1) by Bella Forrest

The first in the duology, it's an easy read, especially if you like stories with vampires. The main female as well as a side character both have HIV so the story does mention living with this illness. It does end with a twist, but not one that makes me want to dive right into the next one. As a side note, I do like this new cover much better than the one that it had when I downloaded it. 3 stars.

And that does it, whew! That was a lot. I don't usually read this much in a month, but being that it is summer time, I got to fit a few more in. What were your favorite books of the month?

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

KDramas: I'm On a Roll!

So, it has been a while since I've been "addicted" to Korean Dramas. For a while there, I stopped watching all together. I was watching the variety shows 2D1N and Running Man, but I did not want to watch a drama or even continue the one that I had on the back burner. I needed a drama that would take me out of this rut, so I started The King's Face with Seo In Guk and Shin Sung Rok and am so glad I did.

This drama is set during the reign of King Seongjo and is about his relationship with his son Gwanghae as well as Gwanghae's quest to become the next Crown Prince and eventual King. I really enjoyed this drama and thought that the practice of Physiognomy was very interesting. I thought the end was nicely wrapped up as well. Of course, seeing Seo In Guk's goofy grin was another plus, lol. Since I liked it so much, I decided to jump into the movie The Face Reader with Song Kang Ho and Lee Jung Jae, which also deals with Physiognomy and power struggles in the royal court, but under a different reign.

I did not enjoy this movie nearly as much as The King's Face. It deals with the power struggle between Grand Prince Suyang and General Kim Jongseo. Plus, I had already watched the drama The Princess' Man with Moon Chae Won and Park Shi Hoo which is also about this, without the Physiognomy. I think the story is much better told and more interesting in The Princess' Man than this movie.

Next, we watched the series You're All Surrounded with Lee Seung Gi and Cha Seung Won. My daughter loves crime dramas and this was her pick. She definitely gets the crime show love from her Grandpa! 

We really enjoyed this one as well. Can't say that there has been a drama Lee Seung Gi has been in that we didn't like. Cha Seung Won is also a hoot. I really need to watch more of his dramas as the only other one I've seen was Greatest Love.

Upon finishing that drama we watched the KMovie, The Pirates with Son Ye Jin and Kim Nam Gil on Netflix. 

This was very funny and had a Pirates of the Caribbean feel to it. Watching this reminded me that I need to watch the drama Shark, which also stars these two actors. It was also the first time seeing Yoo Hae Jin in a movie. I had previously only seen him on 2D1N.

By this time, I was ready to finally finish off Golden Cross with Kim Kang Woo and Lee Si Young. 

This drama took me almost a complete year to finish. It was an okay drama, but I think it would've been better if we didn't know who the culprit was at the beginning. It became all about how we're going to catch the criminal and it did not grab me at all. It made me a little sad that I didn't like this drama more as a few of my friends really enjoyed this and I also am a fan of Kim Kang Woo.

Next up (I told you I was on a roll) was Who Are You? with Taecyon and So Yi Hyun.

I had heard that many didn't like this drama, but I really did. It had a little Master's Sun feel to it. Mix that in with crime stories and The Waffle Boy (Kim Jae Wook) and I was thoroughly entertained.

We also started the historical drama Gu-Am Heo Jun with Kim Joo Hyuk.

This is my first time seeing Kim Joo Hyuk outside of 2D1N. We are only a couple episodes into this 135 episode historical, but so far, it's ok.

We've also started Producer with Gong Hyo Jin and Cha Tae Hyun.

We finished episode 3 the other night. This isn't grabbing me as I thought it would, but I have heard from friends that the first few episodes are really slow. I am also not enjoying Gong Hyo Jin's character at all at this point. I am a fan of her work and have seen her in a few dramas, so this does surprise me.

That's the end of my Korean Drama journey over the last two or so months! What have you watched recently that you have loved?

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

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