The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Top Ten Tuesday #95: Ten Facts About Me July 12, 2016

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Facts About Me

  1. I’m a photographer. I love photography. I really should get off my butt and shoot more photography!
  2. I wanted to get a PhD in French and work as an interpreter for the UN or State Department when I was in high school.
  3. My internet on campus was frozen once when I was researching the Iranian nuclear program for a Model UN assignment. I’m probably still on some watch list for that assignment too haha!
  4. I’m a history glutton. I love studying history. There is so much to be learned from the past to help shape our future.
  5. My favourite colours are cerulean and emerald green.
  6. I hated reading as a child. I liked when people read to me, but I hated reading for myself.
  7. I used to tell people my name was Kimberly cause I wanted to be the Pink Power Ranger so badly.
  8. I’ve been to Europe three times, and want to go back. I love Edinburgh, Paris, London, and Rome.
  9. I want to live on a farm, but I don’t want to work on a farm. I also like living close to town.
  10. Being a mom has been the biggest blessing I never knew I couldn’t live without.

 

Tell me about yourself!

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Non-Fiction Beach Reading Recommendations June 27, 2016

Continuing on from my original post, which was inspired by Jamie’s post about beach reading recommendations, it got me to thinking about some other genres I would like to recommend. This week, I’m talking non-fiction. Though I love my YA, I do like to dabble in adult fiction and non-fiction. I have an adult fiction post planned as well.

Despite being non-fiction, these were all quick and engaging reads.

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  1. American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal by Taya Kyle. I blew through this book over Memorial Day weekend and my review will be coming up soon for full praises. Simply, Taya Kyle is the widow of Chris Kyle, known for writing American Sniper and his murder. Taya Kyle’s writing is fresh, painful, and like speaking with a friend. As a military wife, there was so much I could relate to, but also it was a fascinating read even if not connected to the military.

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2. The Wars of the Roses by Dan Jones. I actually was approved for this back when it was an ARC. I ended up finally getting around to reading it this past spring semester for a paper. Dan Jones writes in a spectacularly engaging way. If you have a chance to watch Great British Castles, (It’s on Netflix!) he’s the host. The way he presents the history of the castles is EXACTLY like his writing style. This was a very fascinating period in English history and I blew through this in one day!

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3. The Plantagenets by Dan Jones. I can’t remember if I was approved for this as an ARC, or I just discovered it after I was approved for The Wars of the Roses. Either way, I scored a finished copy in the clearance section at BooksAMillion. I also ended up reading it for class this semester too. It was a super fast read. I ended up reading about royals I didn’t need to cause it just flowed so well through the history of England that it keeps you engaged. There were some fascinating rulers of England!

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4. The Rival Queens by Nancy Goldstone. This seems to be a recurring theme with these! I read this for another class this last semester for a paper on Marguerite de Valois. She and her mother, Catherine de Medici were two incredible Renaissance women! There was only a section of this book relevant to my paper, but I ended up reading the whole book. The relationship between mother and daughter was extremely tumultuous and shaped the future of France.

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5. Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois by Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre. These memoirs of Marguerite de Valois could be very stretched truth, but she gives a very detailed account of the shenanigans of French court. If you watch Reign, Princess Claude is loosely based on Marguerite and yeah… she was known for getting around! I read this for a paper, and it was an eye opening experience haha.

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6. Marley and Me by John Grogan. Excluding the ending, which I don’t recommend reading in public without a box of tissues, this hysterical read is great for the beach. My Secret Sister, Juli sent it to me last summer when our dog first got sick with degenerative myelopathy and we were afraid we’d have to put her down. This was perfectly timed and  helped me come to peace with the thought of losing our furbaby.

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7. Perepolis by Marjane Satrapi. This non-fiction graphic novel set during the religious revolution in Iran is a page turner. The writing is witty and presents such a dangerous time in an easy to follow way.

 

Do you read non-fiction? What are some of your favourites?

 

Top Ten Tuesday #45: Favourite Movies/TV Shows (Featuring Punk & Bug too!) July 15, 2014

b301e-toptentuesdayEach week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Favourite Movies/TV Shows

This was a super easy and super challenging feature! Trying to remember all the favourite and keep it down to 10. I managed to do it! Punk & Bug thought this week’s topic was fun and wanted to share their favourites too!

Mama’s Favourite TV Shows/Movies

1. Bones

I love this show! ❤ I adore the books too. It’s easy to love them both and not get upset at the differences because they’re both unique. I REALLY hope I get to meet Kathy Reichs at YALLFEST!

2. Supernatural.

I’ve been hooked since the first season, but watch it in spurts. I was up to date, but I’m an entire season behind again! Mary and I have had many conversations about Supernatural!

3. How I Met Your Mother

My first few times seeing this show, I thought it was ridiculous. Hubby got hooked while he was deployed to Iraq in 2010 and got me hooked when he came home. Oh, Barney!

4. NCIS.

I blame my sister-in-law. I ship Tony and Ziva so hard.

5. JAG.

I still have the hots for Harm. Mmmm. I blame this show for my Naval Academy obsession. I wanted to be a JAG lawyer when I grew up lol. I married a soldier instead!

6. West Wing.

OBSESSED WITH THIS SHOW.

7. American President.

I blame my mother. This obsession led to obsession with #6. I love this movie. ❤

8. Game of Thrones.

Duh. You really thought this wouldn’t be on this fantasy lover’s list?

9. The Americans.

ZOMG I love this show. I need to catch up! Russian spies!

10. The Tudors.

SO historically inaccurate, but I loved it so much anyway. I wish they’d continued with Henry VIII’s kids. At least Elizabeth. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

Punk & Bug’s Favourite TV Shows/Movies 

1. Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood

Ugga Mugga!

2. Dinosaur Train

Dinosaurs and trains, what could be better?!

3. Sesame Street

Elmo is our favourite!

4. Thomas & Friends

This is the best show EVAR.

5. Doc McStuffins

We love to pretend that we’re Doc!

6. Sofia the First

Punk likes James and Bug wants to be Sofia!

7. Jake and the Neverland Pirates

This is a recent love. Punk loves it so much he wants a Pirate Party for his birthday!

8. Frozen

This is a new favourite.Punk loves Olaf and Bug loves Anna & Elsa!

9. Lion King

THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE EVAR.

10. Brave

The Scotland obsession has been passed down. Parenting WIN! (:

Thanks for dropping by! What are some of your favourite movies and shows? (Pictures are from imdb.com)

 

Feature & Follow Friday: Featured Blogger! July 10, 2014

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I am so honoured to be a featured blogger for Feature & Follow! I was featured almost a year ago, just after I started blogging. I always forget to participate, so hopefully being featured again will help me kick it back in gear! If you decide to follow me, let me know and I will follow you back! (: While you’re here, I hope you’ll check out the giveaways I have going on! I have an ebook of The Prince or The Guard both by Kiera Cass up for grabs here. (For every 100 entries another winner will be added!) An ARC of Infinite by Jodi Meadows up for grabs here. And as of now, a young adult book of your choice from Book Depository here. After 300 entries on the last giveaway, I’ll reveal another prize! Thanks for stopping by!

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When did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2011, but didn’t start book blogging until July 2013. Crazy that it’s been a year now! (I have a blogoversary celebration giveaway going on if you’d like to check it out!)

What is your favorite part of book blogging?
My favourite thing about book blogging has been building some great relationships with authors and readers from all over! I’ve made some great friends this year and look forward to making more!

What type of books do you mainly blog about?

I focus mainly on young adult books. I have featured the occasional adult or middle grade novel. I also have a feature called Tot Time Thursday where my kiddos help feature some of their current favourites.

What is your favorite book(s)?

Ack! This is still such a hard question. Harry Potter still holds a special place in my heart. Especially now that my son has asked to listen to the audiobooks/have me read them to him. Since I started blogging, I would have to say a few favourites have been Infinite by Jodi Meadows, Waterfell by Amalie Howard, and The Falconer by Elizabeth May. There are plenty of others, these are just off the top of my head. (: My kiddos’ current favourites are the Pete the Cat and Ladybug Girl books!

What has been the best thing that has happened to you because of book blogging?

I would have to say having lunch with Jodi Meadows for my birthday! Okay, it wasn’t exactly FOR my birthday, it just happened to work out that way. Haha. My in-laws live in Northern VA and I happened to have the chance to meet up with Jodi and have lunch. It was such a great experience! If it hadn’t been for book blogging, I would’ve never connected with her or had the chance to meet her!

 

***This week’s question is: If you had a time machine (i.e. a TARDIS) where would you go? ***

 

Hmmm. There are so many things that I would love to see! I am a GIANT history nerd. No, really. A GIANT history nerd. One of my smaller bookcases is nothing but history books. Mostly Elizabeth I. No shame. (: I wouldn’t dare interfere with anything in history though. I don’t think I’m going to be able to pick just one thing so here are some of the things I would love to see off the top of my head.

1. Ancient Rome when the Coliseum was in its prime.

2. The Last Supper.

3. Elizabeth I facing down the Spanish Armada.

4. Robert Kennedy give a speech.

5. Watch the Berlin Wall fall.

6. The Miracle on Ice game.

7. Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane.

8. Ancient Athens (I was SO disappointed with modern Athens)

9. Ancient Alexandria during Cleoptara’s reign. (Library, DUH)

10. Battle of Bosworth Field 1485.

Yup. Those are the top ten off the top of my head. Ask me tomorrow and my answers will probably be different! haha

 

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Again, thanks for dropping by! (: Thanks for the opportunity to be a featured blogger again! (: However you choose to follow is great.

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 23-29 March 2014 March 29, 2014

Can I just say that I am really not a fan of the new update to the WordPress document formatting? I really liked being able to work in Word, Works, Open Office, etc. and paste straight in the post in the format I want. Not cool. Hubby was away at a military class this week and the kiddos took turns being piddly. Bug got shots and Punk’s allergies waged an open revolution against him. It’s been a rough week. But I still got some blog work and reading done!

Completed:

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein 4 1/2 stars

Frozen (ARC, personal copy, audiobook)by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston 3 3/4 stars.

Currently Reading:

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Everything Mother Goose Book by June Rifkin (yes, we’re still working on it!)

Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone by JK Rowling

Read to the Kiddos:

Sesame Street: Elmo Look and Find by Publications International

The Story of Thomas Jefferson by Patricia A Pingry

If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff

Thomas and the Treasure by Wilbert Awdry

How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Dogs by Jane Yolen

Digger the Dinosaur by Rebecca Kai Dotlich


New to my shelf:

Asylum by Madeleine Roux (from my sis-in-law)

From the library:

Pete the Cat : Big Easter Adventure by Eric Litwin & James Dean (audiobook)

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston (audiobook)

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz (audiobook)

Splintered by AG Howard (audiobook)

The Great Discover (Thomas the Train) by Rev W Awdry (audiobook)

 

Waiting on Wednesday #21: The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz March 12, 2014

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

 

My pick of the week is:

The Ring and the Crown (The Ring and the Crown #1)

 

by Melissa de la Cruz

 

Coming: 1 April 2014

 

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

 

Summary:

 

Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?


Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.


But even with the aid of Emrys’ magic, Eleanor’s extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen’s Guard.


Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie’s face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she’s always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she’s always dreamed of–the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor’s court: trust no one.

 

Why I’m excited:

 

I ADORE Melissa de la Cruz. I really do. I have loved her since 2007. I was sad when her Blue Bloods series ended. I was excited when she announced she had TWO new series coming in 2014. TWO. YES! One, was a new spinoff from Blue Bloods. The other, a an alternate history historical fiction. OH MY. YES! I love history. I’m the type of nerd that likes to think “what if?” on various history scenarios. Now, the lovely Melissa has created one for this bookish history loving nerd. And not only is it alternate history, it has MAGIC. YES YES YES! Many wonderful thanks to Disney Hyperion for the ARC approval!

 

 

Why I need you to be excited:

 

Royals and magic. C’mon! It’s gonna be brilliant. Melissa is amazing and she will NOT disappoint with this. I’ve actually already read it, so I know it’s a great read. It’s very exciting and I knocked it out in about 24 hours. Assassination attempts, runaway romance, a Prince and the Pauper switch, it’s incredible. This is a series you can’t miss! What’s even better? You don’t have to wait long to read it! It comes out on April 1st. Go ahead and preorder. You know you want to! (;

 

 

 
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