About Me

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I'm a mother of two and a wife of 1 lol. Originally from England,  Right now I am a stay at home mama although I've worked in numerous childcare positions in the past. My passion is books I can read for hours given the chance. In my free time I product test and write reviews for fun, I also write a blog. 
We are big soccer fans at my house, We love outdoor advantages such as hiking, biking and attending sporting events. My daughter is a mini me we share a love for all things country!

My husband and I recently joined the gym so fitness is a big part of our day..

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

IMM #3











  omg I just realized I have a nervous habit of saying "erm" a lot on camera lol so sorry!



Woohoo! I won

Thanks to Mary find her here: BookHounds or ForeverYoungAdult

Thanks to Mickey: Im A book shark or Twitter


Finally: what did you get in your mail box?



Friday, July 29, 2011

Second Hand Book Give away

                   


   Second Hand book give away!




This week I was going through my piles & piles of books that my husband keeps complaining are slowly taking over the house.
(its very much true but don't tell him I said that!)  anyways I decided I would do a blog give away.

Rules:
The winner gets to choose ONE book from the titles below.
Must be 13 or older
Must be a BLOG follower (if not just click on the followers tab and add yourself)
Open to International followers 


Just leave a comment with your name and Email for me to contact you & the book you want.



These books have belonged to and read by me :) your generous blog host - all books in good condition.



  • Nicholas Sparks - The Wedding
Sparks returns to characters from The Notebook (1996) and writes about Allie and Noah Calhoun's oldest daughter, Jane, and her husband, Wilson. As their thirtieth anniversary approaches, Wilson realizes that he loves Jane now more than ever and worries that his neglect (he completely forgot their twenty-ninth anniversary) may have finally driven her away.


  • Laurie Perry - Drunk, Divorced & covered in cat hair
Perry, a 33-year-old, Southern-born transplant to L.A., was shocked when her husband announced he was leaving her. Granted, he was more a safe sedan than a sports car, but she wasn't ready to be single. Perry started avoiding people for fear of crying in front of them and put on pounds with her divorce diet, 60% wine and 40% jalapeño potato chips and French fries. Fortunately, a friend insisted she try knitting, and Perry got hooked. Knitting not only kept her hands busy but it was reassuring: No matter what the mistake, you could always go back and make it better. She discovered a weekly get-together of smart and funny knitters, women who weren't just focused on finding male companionship.


  • Eden maguire - The beautiful dead bk1 Jonas (YA)

Grief-stricken Darina is mourning the loss of her boyfriend, Phoenix, who has been stabbed to death in a gang fight. And he's not the only teen in their small town to die under strange circumstances. Three other Ellerton High students—Jonas, Summer, and Arizona—died unnatural deaths within the year. But when Darina goes to an abandoned farm outside of town, she discovers that the teens may have died, but they aren't gone. Instead, they exist in a kind of between state, becoming supernatural creatures known as the Beautiful Dead.



Beyond the book...at the pool

I bought my kids a summer pass to our town pool last year my son used his pass so much it was great value for money. So this year I did the same thing,  Since July we have visited at least 3 or 4 times a week. My 10 month old has found a love for the water which  I am very pleased about, they have so much fun!
When we arrived at the pool Monday I put Sophia in the water in her baby float only to have the life guard come and tell me to take it out of the water because it was a health hazard and wasn't allowed... then she proceeded to walk away.... huh, what?
(Sophia's float not allowed)

(Jacob's tube not allowed)






Excuse me I say... can you come back here please and explain to me why my baby can not have her float and tell me when this rule came into affect? I've been coming here for the past two summers and never heard of such a thing.

THIS IS WERE I GET TESTY

(17yr old high school student spending her summer as a "life guard" bad attitude vibe just rolling off her)

Well there not allowed and its always been that way since I've worked here which has been a long time so you need to take it out of the pool.

My response: It has not always been this way I was here 2 days ago.  I need to understand why you guys think its a health hazard to have a float in a kids pool, but its NOT a risk sending kids who can not swim in the pool with out a floatation device.

Her Response: I don't know I can't answer your questions my manager told me I have the authority to remove you from the pool so either listen or leave!

WHAT I know this teenager is not giving me an attitude...


Ok you know what please let me speak to your manager...because I am not getting the answers I need and I am not letting my children in the water with out knowing they can have some sort of safety device this is ridiculous

Along comes manager

Can you tell me why I am being told my children can't have there swim rings in the pool?...
Yes I am sorry miss we had an incident where a mother left her child unattended and the baby flipped out of the tube, so now the health inspector has forbid them from the pool. Its been the case for a while but we have not been enforcing the rule.

So because one woman lacked responsible parenting skills you are now telling everybody to go with out? You don't see it as a risk to children or a hazard for children to be in the pool without them?

BLANK stare...


Ok well thank you for that but honestly you guys need to explain yourselves better rather then getting a teenage girl to give people attitude. Especially when I was just inquiring about the safety of my children.

IS ANYBODY ELSE JUST AS LOST AS I AM BY THERE LODGIC?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kresley Cole

The Immortal after dark books by Kresley Cole.




Book list & main characters

Playing easy to get - - Nikolai Wroth, Valkyrie Myst
A hunger like no other - Lachlain MacRieve, Emmaline Troy
No rest for the wicked - Sebastian Wroth, Kaderin the Cold Hearted
Wicked deeds on a winters night - Bowen MacRieve, Mariketa the Awaited
Dark needs at nights edge - Conrad Wroth, Néomi Laress
Dark desires after duck - Cade of the rage demon,s Holly Ashwin
Kiss of a demon king - Sabine, the Queen of Illusions, Rydstrom Woede
Deep kiss of winter - Murdoch Wroth, Daniela the Ice Maiden
Pleasure of a dark prince- Lucia the Huntress, Garreth MacRieve
Demon from the dark - Malkom Slaine, Carrow Graie
Dreams of a Dark Warrior - Aidan the Fierce, Regin the Radiant

I loved this series from book one to book 11... Kresley Cole has a fantastic writing dynamic that brings her characters to life in very descriptive ways.
Her stories are based around a group of Immortal women called the Valkyrie. Who are kick ass feisty women each with special fighting talents. And the men who are from the Lore also Immortal but of a different kind - Demons, werewolf's, vampires, witches - Who they are mated with (whether they want to be or not!)
What I love the most is all the characters are linked brothers, cousins, sisters, aunties! Which means a lot of the characters we meet again and again so the reader will end up having favorites (mine is nucking futs nix lol)
Each story is filled with adventure, romance (in the bag fulls) action and even humor.
I read all 10 books in just a few weeks once you start the series its hard to turn away!!.. fast enjoyable great summer reads and I recommend them 110%

I just need to get my hands on the new book LOTHAIRE a vampire we have met in a number of the other books. I'm so excited to hear his story

IMM #2












Mentioned this week:

Kresley Cole - Website for book info. Twitter - add her as a friend!
Maggie Stiefvater - Website for book info. Twitter - add her as a friend!
Alyson Noel - Website for book info. Twitter - add her as a friend!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Drive

This was brought to my attention by ReadingTeen.com I really think its a worthy cause and its actually so extremely sad when you think about it! If a child can't read a book in school then where can they read??





From: Danielle http://www.frenzyofnoise.net/
While I was in classes a few weeks ago, I had this huge (kinda funny to me) realization. All week everyone kept talking about community. Saying "this is the place you'll build a lifeline." All week I was that smug girl who's said to myself: I have that. Because I do have that. I have it in bloggers, in readers, in writers, in authors, in twitter. I know I have people. I know I'm part of a community that bans together to stand up for literary injustice, backlash, plagarism and everything in between. We build hashtags on twitter and give small ideas a way to be big. We're awesome.

That's why when the director of my MFA program sent us an email about a book drive, I knew I had to bring the need to my community. This community. Why? Well...

"The literature section of Ballou Senior High School's library in Washington, DC has 63 books, not enough to fill five small shelves. In the area marked "Pure Science," there are 77 volumes. The generally accepted standard for school libraries is 11 books for each of Ballou's 1,104 students."

THAT'S WHY.
It's completely unacceptable that a high school is lacking a basic need of life, a need that opens the doors to education, creativity and imagination---books. And this is the time for all of us to step up, to ban together, to help out. No matter what genre you read, because they need everything.

This selection I take out of the email from my program director because he says it better than I ever could.

"It's a challenge for kids to take their literacy seriously when they don't even have books to read. Ballou is located in the most dangerous ward in our nation's capitol. Right now, the library serves as a physical safe space and a refuge for students in off school hours, but wouldn't it be great if they had something to read while they were there--even choices across genre?....This is not the only school in the country with needs, but when the flare went up we saw it and chose to respond."

What they need:
Everything. From Shakespeare to Octavia Butler to Richard Wright. Fantasy, sci-fi, YA, adult fiction, history books, poetry, classic literature, science.

She said they would take anything as long as it is in GOOD condition and has no writing in it.

I've asked if they would accept ARCs, and the director of the book drive, Lisa, said YES.

How to donate:

If you have books you want to give, please mail them directly to:

Perry School
c/o Margaret Pegram
128 M St. NW suite 318
Washington, DC 20001

Inside the box put a note that says "c/o Lisa P. Ballou Book Drive".

The school will be accepting books until August 22nd.

Also, if you'd like to include some kind of quick note for the kids, words of encouragement, that would be awesome!!

Spread the word!

Reblog this post on your blog. Tweet this post. (we're on twitter at #HSBookDrive) Tell everyone. Send books.

This is a chance for our community to step up, to reach out and to provide teens with books. This is why wer are here so I challenge you to be part of this.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer is here! I just love when the weather is good and it stays day time for longer everything in the world just seems nicer!
We at the Portillo House hold have been spending a lot of time at the Library & at the pool.. who said summer fun couldn't be educational too?

This was Sohpia's 1st trip to the Library and she had a lot of fun with all the toys and such, over there. Jacob has always been a big fan he just discovered a new Favorite - Nothing by Mike Inkpen click here to view the book. VERY cute story. Although my son loves a lot of Inkpen books especially Kipper.

And at the pool - Mommy loves her pool time! lots of summer reading


So I've been reading Kresley Cole The Immortal after Dark books and have enjoyed them so much!! This series is a great summer read and I probably will review it some time in the near future but I do recommend it!


What have you guys been up to with your summer free time?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Books to Movies

This weekend I watched Two movies that started life as a book -

Beastly written by Alex Flinn &I am number four written by Pittacus Lore



Movies:

Beastly Starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer (Jun 28, 2011)

I didn't have a problem with the acting as such, my problem with this movie was the length its only like 1hr 20mins long! It felt short and rushed and many of the aspects of the book I loved where missing in the movie... Kendra's Mirror... the time at the snow cabin..What Kyle was meant to change into was nothing like that of how the book described, I didn't hate the movie I just felt Blah about it.

I am number 4 Starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, et al. (May 24, 2011)

OK so this movie I did enjoy much more then the first one. When I read the book I knew it would look great made into a movie with the alien fight scenes and special powers. They did a pretty neat job and A LOT of the book elements where actually in the movie which I loved... if something isn't broke don't fix it right? I felt Alex fit the role of John Smith a lot better then he did Kyle.


Your views? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One book with many Faces

My mom and I book swap a lot, we have the same taste in reading and we generally follow the same series so its a good way to save money and then enjoy talking about our books.
However my mom lives in England and I reside here in the good ole USA the only issue with that is many of the books have different covers!

IS THIS A GOOD OR A BAD THING?

Well I see why it's done its a marketing gimmick in order to appeal to a bigger audience of people.. and we know a lot of people choose a book just by the cover. In different countries especially since what appeals to one country will not appeal to another.

Bulgarian Hex Hall
US Hex Hall

OK country to country is one thing but what about newer books that have many many covers it can get confusing when it comes to buying..cant it?

2006

2010


I know I've mistakenly bought books twice because of the changes in covers.. so what's the answer and why am I even talking about this?

My personal opinion

I brought up this subject today because I was eagerly waiting for the new Sookie Stakehouse book my mom and I love these books and she told me "Mel I got it don't buy it we will book swap" so that's what we did.... I had in my mind this book.

When I got this (UK) version

I was let down by the cover I felt that the first book had beautiful art while the second was a huge let down and I hear "They want to appeal to more people" But I honestly don't see how the second cover ever could!! I feel its very lazy... Shouldn't the marketing people put as much thought into each cover??

ANYWAYS back to my opinion

1990's

In some cases books having cover changes is a great idea for OLDER dated books.. What was appealing in 1993 may not have the same appeal to the reader of today for example I recently got done reading "Sweep Series" Really Great books however if I would of got the cover from back when it started I don't think it would of sold my interest.

2010

Once a series is done and needs revamping I can see the need for a change!!,

 but I find newer books with 5 different covers and DIFFERENT TITLES! (Why change the title!) confusing to the reader and time consuming.

Whats your thought?



Saturday, July 9, 2011

My First Ever Blog Contest!!

What I'm giving away:


Prism by Faye Kellermen

Kaida Hutchenson isn't exactly psyched for the class trip to Carlsbad Caverns. Fourteen hours in a van with preppy jock Zeke Anderson and high school loner Joy Tallon? No, thank you.
But when a tragic and explosive accident turns the journey into a nightmare, Kaida would give anything to be back on the road. Stumbling at midnight through the unforgiving desert, Kaida, Zeke, and Joy take refuge in an abandoned cave . . . until the world goes from pitch black to blinding. The next thing Kaida knows, she's back home in California and everything is just as it was. Or is it?
Now Kaida must band together with Zeke and Joy in hopes of making it back to the reality she remembers . . . and surviving the one she's fallen into.
New York Times-bestselling author Faye Kellerman teams up for the first time with her teen daughter Aliza Kellerman to deliver this breathlessly suspenseful paranormal thriller.

Reading type: young adult


How to win:

Add me as a friend, spread the word!

And

Well its nothing crazy - I want to know what  a favorite book you've recently read!!

that's it! simple

Leave your comments with your email address and if you win I will contact you :)
This contest is open for a MONTH (U.S only & Sponsored by my pocket)
And good luck!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What I"ve been doing?

The last few weeks I have been M.I.A from the blog and twitter because my parents where visiting from England! We had such an amazing time with them it feels like the days just went by so fast. And since we only get to see them twice a year it makes me so sad.
BUT we made great memories and had lots of laughs together visiting new places.

The Photo's
We visited Sesame place in PA

Baby Sophia Got Baptized

We went to Baltimore Inner Harbor (beautiful, go!)

Washington DC

We visited
The Smithsonian (yes from the movie and it was FREE!)

The Jersey Shore


We had a blast and the pic that sums up how much fun we had and made me LMAO is this:





Friday, July 1, 2011

Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins


About:

Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?


My opinion:

When I finished Hex Hall it killed me to wait for Demon Glass, I was so excited for this book and it did not disappoint. Rachel Hawkins has a one of a kind writing style which I've never seen before, shes Witty and funny her characters seem so real and full of personality.

Sophie is one of my all time favorite characters (so much so I named my little girl sophia!) and I enjoyed reading about her developing relationship with her father who turned out to be not as bad as we all thought!!!
The book is set in London for the most part (big ups for the homeland) Ms Hawkins did this beautifully. She didn't over do the story with needless facts like some authors like to do.
 I love love love the star crossed lover mess with Archer (I totally see why shes into him) and we get to find out more about his past.

 Bring on book 3 because I have a feeling Soph's mom and dad where something of Star crossed loves in the past!!!! EXCITING. So rooting for the parental units

I didn't think I could possibly like Cal as much as I do but my heart goes out to him, I genuinely hope something good is in the works for him.

I want to talk about everything in the book but I don't want to spoil it for anybody! but it is totally awesome :)

5 stars!!!!!!!!!!!