The Book Nook

The Book Nook is my little place to talk about (not to be insanely obvious here…) books.  Because I like to read a book every year or so.  I promise I won’t give anything away (but, things happen).  And, there is a 76% chance that you’ll find this review a complete waste of time because you read the book 10 years ago.  Moving on.

THE BOOK: The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

My thoughts (which most likely carry little to no influence):

You know what?  I’m not a fan.  And I think I know why.  I didn’t give a flying fortune cookie about the characters.  Sorry.  Wally Lamb ruined me.  I’ll probably never read another good book again.

Let me explain.

Kathy:  She’s a messed up little lady that showers infrequently, sports chronic cigarette breath, who happens to have a LOT of sex with a mustached *married* guy named Lester.  A guy named Lester!  With a mustache!  The pair of them got it on!  I thought I would hurl up my Dairy Queen.  And that’s some serious gag reflex.

The other guy in the book:  He is not overly interesting except for the fact that his pride is the size of the sun and he beats up his wife.  Ummm, check please.

The gist of the story is apparently their worlds collide because they are fighting over the same house.  *yawn*  Can you believe this was an Oprah bookclub pick?  Am I just being cranky?  You know what, it’s in your best interest not to answer that.

Grade: C-

Would I recommend it to a stranger on the bus (trying to make his way home)? Probably not. Even if the bus dropped him off to live on an island, with no access to HGTV, my blog, or any other books.

What I am reading now:  The Book Thief (which was recommended to me last Book Nook!)

Any books that you regret wasting your life on?

Flashback Friday

My brilliant 8 year old self thought this was pretty clever.  Who wouldn’t want to indulge in this crunchy SOUP that you are cautioned to “Use Only as Directed”?  You are all invited over for dinner and I’ll be serving this.  Eat beforehand.

Candace, A proud and active member of the Alliteration Fan Club since 1987.

SpotLife: A wild wedding weekend.

SpotLife:  A chance for me to tell you Internets how lovely, fascinating, inspiring, and action packed my day to day life is.  Hold on, things are going to get crazy up in here.

The Hub’s little bro and darling fiance (now WIFEY) tied the knot in early August.  We got to tag along and were on our very best behavior.  I even shampooed my hair for the occasion!

But, let me back up first.  There have been a lot of sweet and fun days leading up to Ben and Melissa’s I Do…

1.  Bridal Shower #1

We had ourselves a fancy little party with gorgeous company and fabulous food.  Melissa has extremely good taste when it comes to picking girlfriends (who hosted this fine gala) and family members (whom, in my humble opinion, are awesomely charismatic, stylish and superbly intelligent).  Here we are.  Left to right: the candace, the Bride, our MIL (Mother In Law) Betsy, and Melissa’s Mom Jane.

2.  Baseball Bridal Shower #2

We celebrated with hot dogs, peanuts and a Saints Game (complete with veils and top hats)!  Melissa started to have second thoughts about joining the clan…

I don’t remember who won the game but I do know there was cake.  The message got lost in translation somehow but it was still a home run (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Here is the family of honor: Ben, Melissa and their Cutie Patootie Noah.

3.  Bachelorette Par-tay

The girls met up in for some girly gifts, dinner (and later, dancin’ but luckily my old lady legs didn’t “beat up the beat”).  Don’t be silly, of course there was a tiara.

4.  Estrogen-y Fabulousness – Pedis with the Ladies

I chose red because I am spicy like that.  Don’t worry about the disaster that is my paper flippy floppy.

5.  Manly stuff – a backyard BBQ with the dudes

While the girls were getting their spa on – the boys got together for some beer drinking, grilling and lawn games in Gabriel and Tony’s beautiful backyard oasis.  Here are the (very handsome) brothers of the Groom.

6.  There was a bachelor party too…but that was (thankfully?) not documented by anyone.  Also thankfully not documented was the Great Driving Meltdown of 2010.  Please, please, (please) don’t bring this up.  It will upset me.

7.  Rehearsal Dinner

While the Very Important People were rehearsing for the Big Day…I was assigned as the Cake Guardian (which just so happens to be a strength of mine) and it was my job to make sure they made it to the Rehearsal Dinner venue safely.  My awesome MIL made these 4 masterpieces and they were as yummy as they looked!

MIL Masterpieces

The Chef herself and her dashing middle son.

And here, The Cute Couple of Honor!  They are getting married, hooray!

You know how every wedding has to have a few obligatory invited relatives that no one really feels comfortable around?  I found the ones for this wedding right away at the Rehearsal Dinner.  Take a look these nutjobs.

Just in case you weren’t sure, those are pecans…


While the Hubs was busy at the church with photos, I kicked off my morning with some heavenly white chocolate mocha and naturally, a self timer picture.

Back at the church, the girls were getting ready…

The Co-Maids of Honor (Bridget and Melinda) putting on their beautiful hand crafted jewelry made by Melissa and Betsy.

My sister Becky was a bridesmaid too.  She is tanner than I am.

Here are all of Melissa’s stunning ladies.  Aren’t their flowers out of this world?

I’m naughty and didn’t get a picture of the guys all snazzied up.  BECAUSE I’M A BAD PERSON.  And what’s even worse…I didn’t get ANY pictures of the ceremony either!  I was all wrapped up in the moment and lost my blogger mind.  *sigh*  Forgive me, please?

After the ceremony, the Hubs partied like a rockstar with the wedding party in the limo and so I was all by my lonesome again.  I teamed up with another Lost Soul (Alina, girlfriend of a groomsmen) and we headed to the reception together.  But not without a photoshoot first.  At a playground.


At the reception, we dined and toasted and smiled a lot.  There were speeches, tears and little Noah sang Itsy Bitsy Spider in SPANISH to the whole crowd.  Cutest Moment on Record?  Yes, it was.

This is the only picture I managed to get of the wedded couple together (I blame my cake coma)…ooohlala.

Guess who won that garter??  Hopefully there will be another wedding in the family!?!

Me and my Hubs.  You already know that I think he’s the best.

Watch out world, now there are a couple of us making mischief and looking hot while doing it.

It was a beautiful day to celebrate two people we love very much.  Many congratulations to you, Ben and Melissa.  I hope you got some kick butt presents.

I’ll leave you with one more picture.  I doubt you are prepared for it but here comes the cutest picture of all time.


Are your relatives as good looking as mine??

Flashback Friday

My college engineering study buddies.  They had to put up with a lot.  Poor guys.  You can see the pain in their faces.  Well, most of their faces.  My bad.

The weekend is here and I’m feeling generous so one Schrute Buck for everyone!!

Get In My Belly: Fridge Pickles

I hope these pickle your fancy.

In fine form, I stole this recipe from here.  Not only are her pictures perfect, but she seems like a nicer person than I am.  Oh well.

Ingredients:  See picture below.

1.  I used fresh dill.  A big wad of it from the farmer’s market.

2.  I didn’t have dill seeds so I added more fresh dill, naturally.  Therefore, my pickles looked like they were swimming in a murky dill swamp.  Moving on.


1. Follow the recipe (double the liquid like she recommends) because you all know that I’m notorious for not following recipes.  As noted here and here.  For your viewing pleasure, an action shot.

The end product:

2.  Eat them as fast as you can.  I’m serious.

3. You could gift them to people IF you are feeling generous.  Or, if you said something inappropriate at the last family get together and need to make up for it somehow, then these pickles just might smooth things over.  Good luck.

How does your garden grow?

Hopefully a lot better than mine because I don’t even have a garden.  But, I do have some serious garden envy.  In fact (stupid joke alert), you could say that I’m green with envy.  Anyway,  I thought I’d show the Internet the plants that are currently crowding up my patio and scaring off future home buyers.  Bring your mosquito netting and a GPS, the flora is thick in these parts.

The Patio, in all of its glory.

And now for the break down:

Bubba, the basil plant.

Rita, the rosemary (remember when you met her?).

Leo, the lime basil plant.

You’ll have to come over and taste Leo, he’s so lime-y.  I haven’t figured out what to make with him yet so instead I have been demanding that people “Eat this, you’ll like it!” whenever anyone stops by.  Oddly enough, people have stopped stopping by.

Our Terrifying Tomato Baby Jungle.

Some surprisingly happy Zinnias.

I had clipped a few earlier this summer for our open house (that no one showed up to).

Vinca Major (previously noted in the first Spotlife.) They are still alive, hooray!

Do you know what Vinca Major is?  Neither did I.  So I looked it up.  Let me educate you via a blurb from Wikipedia because learning is “fun”.

Two of the species, Vinca major and Vinca minor Candace’s patio plants in general, are extensively cultivated as an ornamental plant experiment to see if even I can grow things that can be eaten and or enjoyed.  Because the plants spread quickly, they are often used as a groundcover hiding place if I ever am running from the law.  Although attractive (like The Hubs), both are sometimes considered weeds (obviously, or I would have surely killed them by now), occasionally invasive in some regions (like getting a Spray Tan) where they are not native because of the rapid spreading and the possibility of choking out native species (or prospective home buyers) if they enter areas where they are not controlled (Candace’s patio).  Areas affected include parts of Australia, New Zealand, and the United States (Camellia Crib).[7][8]. In other cases, Vinca (and Candace’s awkwardness) has been recommended as a fire (friends and family) retardant ground cover.[9]

Tell me, how does your garden grow?

Flashback Friday

Over a year ago, the Hubs and I decided to spend our forever together.  We had a super beautiful wedding and fell that much MORE in LOVE.

And then this happened on our honeymoon in Panama.

You can click on the picture to make it larger.  Have a pleasant weekend??

The NO TV Challenge

A good while back, the Hubs and I decided to take the No TV Challenge.  We did it because we are cheap excited to spend more quality time together.  On March 1st, the Hubs officially declared No More TV and unplugged the sucker.  We had one rule.  You *could* plug it back in and watch the big game or one show here and there – but our goal was to eliminate falling into the Black Hole (ahem, Rock of Love) of mindless TV watching after work.  Little did I realize, I am totally too short to plug the TV back in easily.  So, I grudgingly cut TV out of my life altogether.  Well, kinda.  You see, we like us some American Idol and SYTYCD.  So, the Hubs downloads episodes to his laptop and we watch them during Date Night.  I know, we are very uncool.

Fast forward to May.  I’m at work.  I have an epiphany.  I haven’t watched TV in months and The Hubs has only plugged it in 2x!  The whole point of the experiment was to see if we could live without it…and we were doing great!  So, I called our cable company and SHABANG, canceled it.  Just like that.

The Hubs comes home from work.  I ambush him.

Me: “Guess what I did?!”

Hubs: “Ate dinner before I got home?”

Me: “Yes, sorry about that.  I couldn’t wait any longer.  Guess what else I did?!?”

Hubs: “I have no idea.”

Me:  “Saved us some big cash and canceled our TV!!  Let’s high five and celebrate with an ice cream cone!”

“Canceled it???”  Hubs eyes roll back in his head and he melts into a pile of Devastation.

How was I supposed to know it was the NBA playoffs and the beginning of  his beloved baseball season??

But, back to the point of this entire experiment.  For me, this No TV Challenge has been incredibly freeing.  I get to take BACK those wasted hours of my life (ahem, 16 and Pregnant) and DO something productive.  Take a look at the many projects I was able to tackle with all of my new found spare time:

Girl Crush NEWS

You remember my Crush?  Well, she has some exciting news!

Emily Griffith is celebrating the Grand Opening of her shiny new office in downtown Rochester!

Date:  NEXT WEEK, Thursday August 19th

Time: 4-9pm

There will be food, prizes, outstanding company and you can hit up Thursdays on First while you are there!

I’m going to be casually milling around pacing the sidewalk shouting out all of the good things I think about her.  Please come anyway – I can be easily subdued (Hubs will buy me a waffle cone) and you will be sure to have a jolly good time!

Take this link to view the invitation (YOU are invited!!)

Just a little reminder of why she rocked my world…

She’s crazy talented.  Come on by the Grand Opening, I promise to be showered and well behaved!