One Item, 3 Styles


I asked you to pick one of the items above for me to style three ways. It was a very close race and it came down to a one vote difference when all was said and done. And that winning item was…drum roll please…the Heart Sweater! Thanks to all of you that took the time to vote. It was fun hearing what you wanted to see on Twitter and seeing what was the most popular. We will have to play again some time. 🙂 Without further ado, the outfits:

In-between Season Love

Hearts and Shorts


Add Some Sparkle

Hearts and Glitter


Everything is Better with Pink

Hearts and Brights


Since I wasn’t sure what would win I had to style all the looks that had votes. Below are some of the honorable mentions(click to make bigger). If you would like to see the rest of the looks for your favorite piece let me know in the comments. I may be persuaded to post them at some point.

Honorable Mentions by andiabcs on

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Pick an Item


I love playing with the “Paper Dolls” over at Polyvore and I’m once again looking for your help. Please vote on one item you would like to see styled 3 ways. Comment if you would like to see anything specific and I’ll see what I can do. 🙂

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Review: Fire – Kristin Cashore

Review: Fire – Kristin CashoreFire by Kristin Cashore
Published by Firebird
on 2011-01
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon, Goodreads

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.


For me it was hard to top the amazingness that was Graceling. You read my review (if you didn’t you can check it out here), you heard me gush about it and call it even better than The Hunger Games. And I truly believe that. Bust sadly Fire just wasn’t up  to that level. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the ‘prequel’-like story and I loved Brigan and Fire for the most part, but it just didn’t hit me the same way as Katsa and Po’s story did.

Fire is the story of a girl named Fire that lives in a time before Graceling in a land called the Dells. Fire is a monster in the sense that she can control what people’s actions and thoughts are. But unlike some people Fire is unwilling to use her power unless it is to save herself because she refuses to become her father. Her father was a monster and with the help of the since departed King Nax, ruined the kingdom of the Dells. But Fire hold power she never thought she had. She may have the power to save the Kingdom. With the help of King Nash and his brother Prince Brigan, Fire learns her power doesn’t have to be locked away, but embraced if used in the right way. Now she just needs to make sure she stays alive.

Basically the story starts out with the birth of Leck, that awful king and father to Bitterblue, from Graceling. The audience finally gets to see his birth and where he came from, essentially his back story. But this is only a minor part of the book in the beginning and I think that is what threw me. I felt like I was waiting for almost the whole book for Leck to show up again and to really get to his story, to maybe understand him more. And I was disappointed because that didn’t happen, at least not to my hope. What happened was a long story about Fire and her insecurities. And a love story that wasn’t really a love story. Brigan, who I ♥ dearly, wasn’t around for about ¾ of the book and that made me really sad and I think therein lies the problem.

I think as I was reading Fire instead of trying to get into the part that I was currently reading, I was constantly waiting for something else. I was waiting for Brigan to sweep Fire off her feet, of Leck to make a huge impact, or for some weird random connection to Graceling that you didn’t expect make itself known. And that is a bad way to read a book. The book dragged because of my mind frame and I just couldn’t get it to so anything else.

The writing though was fabulous and the story was good at the core. Fire was a little too wishy washy for my tatse, but I totally understood her and got where she was coming from. And I loved Fire’s interactions, although small, that she had with Brigan and her relationship with King Nash. And there was a part of the story that I was not expecting at all so that was another plus. But for me it just didn’t have that Graceling spark. Basically I liked it a lot, but didn’t love it.




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NOOK/Kindle Book Hoarding? Part 3

Next up in my NOOK/Kindle book hoarding series is Michelle. Like Heather, Michelle and I became friends a few years ago with our mutual love of television. Now Michelle and I love to discuss books and everything else in between. Actually if it wasn’t for Michelle this blog may not exist. She is the one that graciously offered to host me on her amazing blog over at Galleysmith. She taught me the best way to review books and run a blog so I thank for her that.  Below is Michelle’s NOOK and Kindle apps from her iPad and a brief description of her reading likes. Let’s give Michelle a warm welcome ABCers!

As you can see, there is a pretty significant difference between what I’m buying on my Nook and what I’m getting on my Kindle app for iPad.  This is mainly because Amazon is by far the cheapest game in town for books that I use related to my studies and work.  On anything I read for pleasure (YA or contemporary romance) it’s all things being equal.  A good portion of the time I’m also buying directly on my nook as opposed to on the website which you can’t do with the iPad.  At least that I’m aware of.

Anyway, I have more than my share of books to read and this doesn’t even take into account the books on my shelf!  Which of these books would you tell me to read first?

mkindle1 mkindle2

 1) Effective Online Teaching
In order to enable the widespread adoption of online education, faculty must be trained in the pedagogy of teaching in this medium. This book offers an understanding of how cognition and learning theory applies to an online learning environment. Through behaviorist, constructivist, and cognitive approaches it provides strategies for incorporating this knowledge into effective learner-centered teaching practice.  Each chapter contains reflection and discussion questions and, with the use of the accompanying CD, can be used for self-directed learning. It is ideal for new instructors or those new to online teaching.

2) What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain
What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.

The short answer is–it’s not what teachers do, it’s what they understand. Lesson plans and lecture notes matter less than the special way teachers comprehend the subject and value human learning. Whether historians or physicists, in El Paso or St. Paul, the best teachers know their subjects inside and out–but they also know how to engage and challenge students and to provoke impassioned responses. Most of all, they believe two things fervently: that teaching matters and that students can learn.

In stories both humorous and touching, Bain describes examples of ingenuity and compassion, of students’ discoveries of new ideas and the depth of their own potential. What the Best College Teachers Do is a treasure trove of insight and inspiration for first-year teachers and seasoned educators.

3) Flip Your Classroom by Jonathan Bergmann
It started with a simple observation: students need their teachers present to answer questions or to provide help if they get stuck on an assignment; they don’t need their teachers present to listen to a lecture or review content. From there, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams began the flipped classroom-students watched recorded lectures for homework and completed their assignments, labs, and tests in class with their teacher available.

What Bergmann and Sams found was that their students demonstrated a deeper understanding of the material than ever before. This is the authors story, and they’re confident it can be yours too. Learn what a flipped classroom is and why it works and get the information you need to flip a classroom.

You’ll also learn the flipped mastery model, where students learn at their own pace-furthering opportunities for personalized education. This simple concept is easily replicable in any classroom, doesn’t cost much to implement, and helps foster self-directed learning. Once you flip, you wont want to go back!

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is the trusted source for professional development, knowledge generation, advocacy and leadership for innovation. ISTE is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. Home of the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), the Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET), and ISTE’s annual conference (formerly known as the National Educational Computing Conference, or NECC), ISTE represents more than 100,000 professionals worldwide. We support our members with information, networking opportunities, and guidance as they face the challenge of transforming education.

mnook mnook2


1) Thrown For a Curve by Jaci BurtonFor Alicia Riley, her job as a sports therapist for the St. Louis Rivers baseball team is a home run—until she becomes the primary therapist for star pitcher, Garrett Scott. Out of the lineup with an injury, he’s short-tempered, hard to handle, and every solid inch, a man.

Right now, the only demand he’s making on Alicia is that she get him ready to pitch in time for opening day. Except the sexual chemistry between them is so charged, Alicia’s tempted to oblige Garrett just about anything. But both their careers are at stake—one bad move and it’s game over for both of them.

Garrett also feels the hot sparks between them, and the way he figures it, what better therapy is there than sex? Now all he has to do is convince the woman with the power to make the call.

2) Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny, and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions – gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker – someone who can talk to and help lost souls – and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn’t make a decision soon.

3) Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
I don’t like Kathryn Pease. I could pretend everything’s fine between us. I could be nice to her face, then trash her behind her back. But I think it’s better to be honest. I don’t like Kathryn, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

I saw a commercial where singers used their voices to shatter glass, but the whole thing is pretty much a myth. The human voice isn’t that strong.

Human hatred is. Anybody who doubts that should feel the hate waves coming off of Brooke Dempsey. But I don’t shatter; I’m not made of glass. Anyway, the parts that break aren’t on the outside.

Brooke and Kathryn used to be best friends . . . until the night when Brooke ruthlessly turned on Kathryn in front of everyone. Suddenly Kathryn was an outcast and Brooke was Queen B. Now, as they prepare to face off one last time, each girl must come to terms with the fact that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had.

4) Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
It’s hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it’s not her mother’s pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin. When they’re united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town’s animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their Badlands town. Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin’s unique beauty hides a girl who’s troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

5) I Know It’s Over by C.K. Kelly Martin
PURE. UNPLANNED. PERFECT. Those were Nick’s summer plans before Sasha stepped into the picture. With the collateral damage from his parents’ divorce still settling and Dani (his girl of the moment) up for nearly anything, complications are the last thing he needs. All that changes, though, when Nick runs into Sasha at the beach in July. Suddenly he’s neck-deep in a relationship and surprised to find he doesn’t mind in the least. But Nick’s world shifts again when Sasha breaks up with him. Then, weeks later, while Nick’s still reeling from the breakup, she turns up at his doorstep and tells him she’s pregnant. Nick finds himself struggling once more to understand the girl he can’t stop caring for, the girl who insists that it’s still over.

So there you have it, Michelle’s Kindle and NOOK. Stay tuned for next week when you get a look at my friend Angie’s Nook and Kindle apps.

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Monopoly Money Monday

In this edition of Monopoly Money Monday I’m going to spend my $100.00 on a girl’s best friend. That’s right ladies, I’m hitting the shoe department. Now this was actually harder then it would seem. I had trouble deciding between shoes I liked and shoes I loved but were still in the price range I was aiming for. Below is the best I could come up with in a variety of different style. I’ll tell you though, I was tempted to just post a pair of the J. Crew flats I have been eying. Alas I was good.


Almond Toe Wedges at Forever 21
Price: $24.80

anchorflipAnchor Flip Flops at Forever 21
Price: $5.80


Contrast Toe Pumps at Forever 21
Price: $24.80


Kimchi Blue Gretel Suede Pump at Urban Outfitters
Price: $39.00

4 pairs of shoes, 3 stores, 4 heel styles for a total of $94.40. Not bad for 4 pairs of shoes on a Monday. What is your shoe of choice?

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