Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

Where are all of my Potterheads at??

I just finished the COMPLETE series of Harry Potter again a couple weeks ago, and all I can say is WOW!!

After the sad news of the passing of Alan Rickman (Professor Snape) in January, I made it a goal to re-read the entire Harry Potter series AND watch the movies!  It's a commitment, yes, but I needed some fantasy in my life.  What I wasn't prepared for was how invested I would become in the characters and stories again.

I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone at the beginning of March, and after the first 50 pages I quickly remembered why I loved the books so much!  This was the first time re-reading them all since they first came out dating all the way back to 2001--15 years it had been since I turned the page of JK Rowling's first Harry Potter book!  And for those of you who are curious, I was 12-13 when the first book came out!

The imagination of a 12-year old vs a 27-year old are considerably different.  Not only did I understand the book, characters and plot line more at this age, but my imagination was running a million more miles a minute while reading the series.  It was then that I became truly invested in each and every single character--probably more than I should have considering how mad and sad I was throughout the series when characters died!


SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!! STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT THE SERIES RUINED FOR YOU!







First off, WHY would you kill Dobby?  He's just a house elf who lives and breathes to do anything for Harry Potter and his friends.  Tears and anger.  LOTS of tears and anger.  I actually threw my book aside in anger after I read of Dobby's death.  I needed a few moments/hours to process that.  



Second, Sirius??  Not only did Harry lose his parents but you need him to lose his Godfather, too?  Poor Harry!  And Sirius was a straight up BADASS, so it's just depressing he died, and by Bellatrix Lestrange--Sorry, but that girl needs a definite blow out!



And finally, Dumbledore.  Like, honestly, the Headmaster of Hogwarts needed to die, too?  Ugghhhh JK Rowling, you sure know how to pull at the heartstrings.  Dumbledore always had such good wisdom and insight, too.  I remember when I read The Half-Blood Prince when it came out, and when Dumbledore died, I cried.  I knew it was coming this time, but it still felt like I was mourning with all of Hogwarts, too.  

I understand that all of these characters needed to die for a reason, but man, after getting so invested in them it's not easy when they are killed.  RIP Dumbledore.  D.A. for life!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

J.K. Rowling, there's a reason you are a multi-millionaire.  This series is one that will forever be passed down for decades to come!

Next up on my list: Harry Potter World at Universal Studios!!  If I win the lottery, that's a top destination on my list--nerd alert, I know!  I don't care!

I could blog about Harry Potter forever, so I'll cut it short.  For those of you who are skeptical about reading Harry Potter or even watching the films, give them a chance.  You won't be disappointed and plus, you're experiencing literature history!  

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from J.K. Rowling:

"Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."

HP FOR LIFE!

Happy Reading!
xoxo,

Sarah


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fall is in the air: A Few of my favorite things!

It’s already the middle of September??  GAH!  Why is it that every year now moves faster and faster than ever before?  I don’t even have kids yet!  Lord help me when that happens for I fear I will blink and they will be grown and out of my arms. 

Okay, so I’m not going to do a long-drawn out blog post like the last time when I got so far behind.  I’m going to try a new thing.  I’m going to blog once a week about something positive/exciting/happy that is happening in my life along with “Some of my favorite things”—and yes, I’ll still blog about my books J

Alright!  Let’s get to it!

On Friday I got my hair done (and yes, some of you may already know this from Facebook), but I added in some brown and red to my already SUPER blonde hair!  Check it out, this is my “fall look”.  For any of my readers who live in the Omaha area, I definitely recommend you visit Shawna at Backstage Revue in Fremont.  She has been doing my hair for about 3 years and she never disappoints!




Okay.  Now, “My Favorite Things”!

New favorite songs/videos you should all check out:

Rachel Platten: Stand by You
This song is fantastic and let’s face it, I love Rachel Platten!

Taylor Swift: Wildest Dreams
                Check out this video if you haven't already!!  Seriously!!  She is so amazing and Scott Eastwood?? Yummmmm!!
                Wildest Dreams video

Justin Bieber: What Do You Mean
I’ll admit it, I was a HUGE Bieber fan back in the day.  Then he got all messed up like every other teenage pop star and now he’s back and better than ever!  His voice has matured and this song is actually really good!

Luke Bryan: Kill The Lights
Luke’s new CD is phenom.  That’s all.  There are SO many great songs on it.  Buy it.  You won’t be disappointed!

Book recommendations:

So it’s been a while since I blogged about my latest book.  I think since the last time I blogged I have read 5 books.  Based on those, here is what I recommend:

The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms (Book IV) by Chris Colfer aka Kurt Hummel from Glee

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
                This YA book is absolutely FABULOUS!

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Fall Recipes:
It’s now that time of year where the weather changes, flannel/leggings are back “in” and fall foods fill the air!  Here are a few of my favorite:




Well that’s all I have for this blog post.  I’ll try and do better about blogging more frequently.  Life tends to get a tad hectic, but somehow I still keep moving right along with it.  Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite things!

Happy Fall!

Xoxo

Sarah

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Days...Drifting Away...


 I’m still here.  I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.  It’s amazing how BUSY summers can get!  I think the last time I blogged it was about the weddings I had down in the South (which happened in May)!!

What has happened since then??  Well, I’m not going to bore you with EVERY single detail, but since I blogged last Heath and I celebrated our 2-year anniversary, attended the College World Series, ran a 5k, celebrated an engagement for our amazing friends, ran a beer run and had a wedding this past weekend for our other dear friends!

Oh and of course, I’ve been reading.  I have read three books since I blogged last—my bad!

So….where should I begin?  If it’s up to me, which it is, I’m going to start with our amazing friends, Justin Wanek & Lisa Ryherd, getting engaged!  In January 2012 I had the (drunken) pleasure of meeting Justin Wanek—a financial representative who works with me—at our Central Regional meeting that is hosted in Chicago each January.  Once I met him I knew he had to meet one of my best friends from Iowa State—Lisa!  They met in February 2012 and well…obviously they’re getting hitched now after almost 3 ½ years of dating!  *takes a bow, pats myself on the back, etc…*

Justin and my husband, Heath, are best friends.  Justin called us on July 2 and told us that it was “about THAT time” as he was referring to FINALLY popping the question to Lisa!  Needless to say we were ecstatic!  Justin proposed to Lisa in the afternoon on July 3 and I’m not going to go into all the mushy details of how he did it, but it was totes adorbs (and yes, I did just say that), and yes, he did a GREAT job on the diamond J  We then had the pleasure of getting to celebrate with them, along with Justin’s sister and her boyfriend, for the majority of the night!

We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and a couple who is nothing but amazing to us and for us!  And yes, we definitely plan to party our faces off next May when they say, “I do”, but until then I have the pleasure of listening/helping Lisa plan the wedding while Heath gets to listen to Justin talk about the planning ;)


Dinner at Old Chicago for the newly engaged couple
Left to right: Heath, myself, Lisa, Justin, Sarah and David

It finally happened!!!  :) 

Alright, on to the next major event that took place—a wedding!  This past weekend our dear friends (and the mother/father of our goddaughter, Harper), Caitlin & Preston Elliott, tied the knot in a BEAUTIFUL ceremony at Soaring Wings Vineyard in Springfield, NE.   There’s not much to say because the pictures can say it all!

 Our little goddaughter, Harper, was the most adorable flower girl!


 Congrats to the Elliott family!  We are so happy for you!

Finally….BOOKS! 

Since I blogged last I finished The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider and I honestly only gave that book 3 stars.  It’s good in the sense that it is the same style of writing that John Green has (author of The Fault in Our Stars), but other than that, the story line is pretty blah and the ending isn’t all that great.  If you want a good, brainless (unfortunately) summer read than you may want to pick this up—but don’t buy it!  It will be a waste of your money.  Thankfully I only purchased it for $1.99 on my Nook.


I also finished Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen.  I typically like Sarah Dessen, but I was thoroughly disappointed in this book.  It had a good build up, but the climax of the book was nothing but ordinary and somewhat predictable.  I was actually pretty mad when I finished the book and I haven’t recommended it to anyone that I personally know to read it.  But, if you’re a fan of Sarah Dessen then go ahead, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 The last book that I finished was of course, Grey by EL James.  Yes, I’m guilty of being a big 50 Shades of Grey fan!  This book was written by EL James from the perspective of Christian and for anybody who likes 50 Shades you will most definitely want to read this book.  I almost wish that EL James would have written the 50 Shades trilogy through Christian’s eyes instead of Ana’s, but that’s a personal opinion.  In this book you get to find out more as to why Christian is the way he is.  I liked it but again, I’m a 50 Shades fan, so I’m just going to say that if you’ve read the 50 Shades trilogy and LIKED it then you won’t be disappointed with this book!  Here is to hoping EL James can whip out 2 more books through Christian’s viewpoint.

Once again, sorry for the long, drawn out blog post, but I feel like it was much overdue—as my husband asked about when I was posting my next post the other day! 

So what else is happening in the upcoming weeks for the Blue Eyed Dandelion Wisher you may ask?  Well, I’m going to see Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri tomorrow night (with a meet & greet with Christina Perri—just mildly fan-girling over here) and then next Wednesday Heath and I are off to Vegas for a long weekend to celebrate my 27th birthday!

Tah-tah for now readers!

Xoxo


Sarah

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's All About that 'Ol Southern Hospitality, y'all!

Last month I had the opportunity to visit one of the cities on my bucket list: Savannah, Georgia!  We had a family wedding, well TWO, family weddings in the South.  One of them was in Savannah and the other in Tallahassee, Florida.

I was beyond excited to visit Savannah as it has always been on my list of "places I want to visit", and let me tell y'all (hehe) it did NOT disappoint!

That city is so incredibly beautiful, historical and fun--which are all things that are right in my wheelhouse for a good vacation!

The history behind Savannah is phenomenal.  I knew it was a historical city, but it was amazing to hear about all of Savannah's past and the prominent figures who made Savannah what it is today.

Did you know Savannah has 22 town squares (there used to be 24)?  And they aren't like the typical town squares some of us are used to, they are historical town squares and the buildings that surround each individual square all have a story to go with them!  I was in total awe when we pulled into Savannah.  Take what you see in movies like, "The Notebook" and multiply that 'ol Southern hospitality feel by about 100 and you get downtown Savannah, Georgia.

Now I'll tell y'all, I'm a sucker for the South so I already had high expectations going into Savannah, but the history, the people and hospitality is what made those expectations soar to new heights!  For instance, just take a look at some of the downtown scenery I was able to capture on a Trolley Tour:




It's extremely difficult to put into words just how beautiful this city truly is, and the pictures just don't do it justice.

I was completely enthralled by Savannah and its history (but let's face it, I'm also a history nerd).  One such story caught my attention and it was that of the novel known as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.  This story is a true story based on a murder that took place in Savannah in the 1980s and the events leading up to the murder and the trial(s) following the murder.  After going on the trolley tour and hearing more about the infamous murder, I decided to pick up a copy of the book.  I found it at this cute little book store right across from our hotel--I figured the best place to buy a non-fictional book about Savannah was in Savannah.  :)

I just finished reading it this past weekend and it was wonderful!  I was SO glad that I went to Savannah first before I started reading it because it definitely made me understand the locations that were described since I had seen them all on my vacay.

My advice is to visit Savannah first before reading this book as you may not appreciate the book as much if you read it beforehand.  It was just fun to read it right after I had left Savannah because it seemed to me that I still hadn't really left.  I was holding onto a piece of Savannah in my hands--387 pages to be exact.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil will always be my favorite memento from visiting Savannah...well that and of course, celebrating the marriage of Levi & Frances Ruppert!

Congrats to the Rupperts!


France & Levi Ruppert tied the knot in Lafayette Square on 5/23/2015

                   Dinner at the Olde Pink House (a Savannah must!)

                The wedding reception was held at Vick's on the (Savannah) River

My mother-in-law, Connie, and I right before the wedding in Lafayette Square

We did the "tourist" thing and enjoyed a Riverboat Cruise on the Savannah River



Also, a special congrats to Meg & Tal Yariv who tied the knot on 5/24/2015 in Tallahassee, FL!
We love you both!

Well...until next time...have a wonderful, blessed week!

xoxo

Sarah









Monday, June 1, 2015

"Dorothy Must Die" by Danielle Paige



Follow the yellow brick road…follow the yellow brick road…We’re off to see the Wizard—the wonderful Wizard of Oz…aren’t we?

We all know the classic tale of The Wizard of Oz, but what happens after Dorothy goes back to Kansas? 

Well, as it turns out she comes back to Oz!  And no, she’s not the sweet, innocent girl from Kansas anymore.  Oz has turned upside down and it’s all because of Princess Dorothy who has now become the evil dictator.  Oz is now a place where the good witches can’t be trusted; the wicked witches may be the good guys and the winged monkeys now serve as Dorothy’s slaves.

This is all about to change when Amy Gumm, the ‘other girl’ from Kansas lands in Oz.  She has been drafted by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked which consists of three witches, including Glinda’s twin sister Glamora, and Amy has been given one job: to kill Dorothy! 

You’ll see the characters of Oz unfold like you’ve never seen them before.  The Lion sucks courage out of the innocent.  The Tin Woodsman and his army will slaughter the innocent and the Scarecrow drains the brains out of those who are now dead.  Dorothy has changed these lovable characters into power hungry, terrible beings.

This book follows the path of Amy as she prepares to kill Dorothy.  You’ll meet many different characters along the way who either can or can’t be trusted.  It’s up to Amy to decipher who she can trust and also, devise a plan to end Princess Dorothy’s reign over Oz.

Can she do it?  Can Amy kill Dorothy?

“What’s underneath is everything, Amy.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t enhance it.  Beauty has its own kind of magic.  And the appearance of something can have power, too.”

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars just because it took me a while to get into it.  It’s definitely a different approach than what I was expecting but still a decent read.  The second book in the series, The Wicked Will Rise is on my “books to read” list.  I recommend this to anyone who likes to read about different spins on The Wizard of Oz and also who enjoy young adult fiction.  It’s a fast read once you get past the first 75-100 pages! 

I hope you enjoy J

I’m currently reading The Beginning of Everything, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story, and The Story.

Happy reading!

Xoxo

Sarah

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Betwixt and Between" by Jessica Stilling



We all know this story. Or do we? 

When someone asks you to give a brief synopsis of Peter Pan we may give them the following response: Peter flies to London and surprises Wendy, John and Michael Darling. He talks them into going to Neverland where children never grow up. They fly, they meet the Lost Boys, Indians, fairies, Pirates and Captain Hook! 

Now, what if I were to tell you this this book takes on a very unique spin to that classic tale? 

This book was a "Nook book deal of the day" and quite honestly, I was surprised! 

I gave this book a 5-star rating, which doesn't happen often! Jessica grips you from the first sentence to the last! She intertwines the story of Preston, a fun loving 10-year-old who winds up in Neverland in the present day (I won't tell you how) and Winifred, a young girl who also has her ventures in Neverland...only it's 1901 when she is there.

The story of Peter Pan that you know will be altered and it will make you wonder and think...in a good way! Jessica's spin on this classic tale is phenomenal and I can't say a lot more about the book without spoilers, so I'm just telling you to READ IT!! If you love some twists in a classic tale then you won't be disappointed, I promise!  

"Just always be waiting for me." {Peter Pan}

Happy Reading! I'm currently reading Dorothy Must Die, The Beginning of Everything and The Story

Stay tuned! :) 

Xoxo

Sarah 

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Angels Walking" by Karen Kingsbury

"Perfect is God's job.  You'll live your life a lot happier if you stop trying to be perfect.  Do your best for Jesus.  When you fall short, he'll carry you."
               Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury

I just finished reading this wonderful book today.  This book gripped me from the first chapter until the end!

A team of angels (Beck & Ember) take on the mission to restore hope for Tyler Ames, a baseball player who is SO close to the Major Leagues, but an unfortunate injury rips him from the opportunity to pitch for the Cincinnati Reds.  Tyler hits rock bottom, especially after finding out that the only girl he ever loved, Sami Dawson, has moved on from him.  Tyler is cut from the team he was pitching for, is homeless and has nobody in his corner.

A series of miracles leads Tyler to a janitor position at a retirement home where he meets Virginia, an elderly lady suffering severe Alzheimer's.

Tyler becomes close with Virginia and she helps him restore his faith in God, with the help of the Angels Walking duo.

This book will open your eyes to your life and make you wonder,"Have you ever had encounters with an Angels Walking team?"  Karen Kingsbury takes you through the lives of Tyler, Sami and Virginia and how the faith in God can bring even the smallest of hope back to those who had lost it long ago.

I gave this book 4 stars because it greatly touched me and I couldn't put it down.  It's a fast read once you get started.  I can't wait to start her second book in the Angels Walking series, Chasing Sunsets.

Have a blessed Monday and keep your heart open to angel encounters--they are happening all around us!

Xoxo

Sarah