Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pages of Penrose Review: A Fifty-Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

I am so excited about this book review, it has been my favorite one so far!

Admiration, love, and wonderment are conveyed in a way that only a granddaughter could throughout the entirety of A Fifty-Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot.  She relays the summarized details of the tribulations that her Holocaust-surviving grandmother and grandfather endured, and tries to piece together how a couple that made it through their harrowing experiences would somehow decide that they cannot stand to be in each others presence decades later.  Growing up, Mouillot knew that there was more detail to her grandparents' story and she made it her quest to sort it out.   This book centers around what must have happened during WWII and the Holocaust that led to the demise of her grandparents' relationship, but it also reveals in heart-felt honesty the ever-changing relationship that loved ones have when a grandparent is diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer's disease.  This book will speak to your soul, and will simultaneously break your heart while giving you a profound sense of satisfaction.  If you are looking for a book with depth, I highly recommend the experience of reading the story of Anna and Armand.

Do you love to read?  Friend me on Goodreads so that we can follow each other's bookshelves!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Pages of Penrose: Books of January

My goal this year is to read 30 books on my Goodreads 2016 challenge, so this month I got a good jumpstart on that!  

January was 4 books. I read two and listened to two Audiobooks on my drives to/from work.  

I received a copy of That Season of Hope by Keith Larson last year at a networking event where I learned about Hope Stout's life.  She's the 12-year-old girl on the cover, hugging former Carolina Panther player Kevin Donnalley.  I'm sure that I loved this book even more because of the time of year I read it, and since I'm a Panthers' fan, but I highly recommend this book to everyone-no matter which team you pull for!  I cannot imagine being in the Stout family's situation, but I do know that if anyone ever had to endure the trials that they have, I would hope it would be in this beautiful, inspiring way.  I love the voice of this book being from Keith Larson's point-of-view.  
This was my favorite of the month!

I decided to read I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends by Courtney Robertson, who was a Bachelor contestant on Ben Flanjik's season and ended up being the winner.  I watched that season, and I remember along with most of America, not liking Courtney.  However, I know that much of what you see on those shows is the way it is edited and manipulated by producers, so I thought it would be fun to read her perspective.  This was a fun, juicy, easy read.  If you like the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, then you will enjoy this!

My first Audiobook this month was The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.  The overall plot of this book was great, and I enjoyed listening to it.  I do not know if I would have liked it as much if I had read it.  Since this book timeline covers many years, parts of it felt a bit disconnected to me.  I did love the details about other books within this one, and the general fantasy of owning a bookstore adds to any reader's interest in this book.  

I really enjoyed The Liar by Nora Roberts. I found it to be a little bit more predictable than other Roberts books I have read. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say I also struggled with some of the technical details of the book. If you overlook those little nuances and just enjoyed the writing, the plot was entertaining and I would recommend it to others.

And then yall....Let's call this the one that never was.  Haha....I tried. I know there was hype over the 50 Shades trilogy, and while I did not read any of those books I did watch the movie of the 1st book which I thought was pretty good...aside from the whole S&M aspect which I just don't find appealing.  So, I figured I would give Grey a shot to read the story from Christian Grey's perspective, and I think I listened to maybe 10 minutes of the first CD for this Audiobook and I just couldn't.  I just found the whole thing to be so derogatory towards women.  Even aside from the whole dominant/submissive roles of S&M, his inner thoughts about even their first meeting were so sexist and derogatory.  I'm no feminist, but this was just too much.


Check back with me next month for my February book review!  You can get sneak peeks by following me on Goodreads here.  What have you read lately that you're loving?

Linking up today for Friday Favorites with Erika, Narci, and Andrea.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday: Practically Penrose | January

Hello! Today I'm linking up with Mel, Sheaffer, and Shay for What's Up Wednesday, the first of 2016!

1. What we're eating...
Honestly, this week has been a hot mess.  Jake and I have both gotten head colds, so by the time we are home it's all we can do to feed Ryleigh and the dogs some dinner and relax until her bedtime, then we quickly close up the house and head to bed ourselves by about 8:30!  That's super early for me, but I'm trying to get all of the extra rest I can.  Monday, Jake made spaghetti & meat sauce for dinner while Ryleigh & I made a quick stop at the preschool program she will be in this fall.  We ended up having tons of leftovers so that's what we ate Tuesday for dinner.  Tonight, we are having dinner out to Mexican, and tomorrow night we are going to Chima for Charlotte Restaurant Week! I'm so excited for that because I've heard so many people rave about Chima and I have never been.

2. What I'm reminiscing about...
Well this one is pretty easy.

Last Friday morning, I had off of work for the snow storm, but I woke up around 7:40am and checked my emails on my phone. I saw one from a gentleman in my networking group saying that he had 4 PSL tickets to the Carolina Panthers' playoff game versus the Arizona Cardinals, and as a "special" he would sell them to a group member for true face value.  It was a heck of a deal so I quickly emailed him, hoping that nobody else had done the same yet.  Around 8:30 I got the response that we were the lucky winners and we got to see one heck of a game Sunday night!!  Our "Cardiac Cats" were no where to be found, they played a stellar game from start to FINISH, and although my feet were freezing while standing on ice (they hadn't totally cleaned the seating areas) in 25 degree weather, we were standing, dancing, and screaming the whole time!

3.  What I'm loving...
Our calendar filling up! We have received invitations for so many fun events to celebrate with friends lately--birthdays, babies, and bridal showers!

4.  What we've been up to...
Snow, snow, ice, snow.  After 5 days it's finally mostly melting away.

5.  What I'm dreading...
Can't really think of anything? #lifeisgood :)

6.  What I'm working on...
We are in the throws of Silent Auction planning for the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte 7th annual Girls Night Out event!  This amazing night of glamour and giving will have you dancing, crying, and loving time with 400 other ladies!!  This year we will have LIVE music from dualing pianos in addition to the boutique fashion show, silent auction, amazing food & drinks, and Model Mom stories who share their hearts and the trials of what they went through while their child was, or still is, receiving treatment.  
If you or someone you know would be willing to donate to our silent auction, please leave a comment on this post!!  I love the connections that this blogging community can make!  We have been receiving all sorts of artwork, books, vacation rentals, etc. from all over the country that women attending this event in Charlotte, NC, can bid on to raise money for our Ronald McDonald House! 100% of all money raised at this event goes to the house for taking care of the families staying with us who have children receiving critical medical treatment at one of our local medical facilities.  All donations are tax deductible and I would be happy to provide more event information and our 501c3 form! 

7.  What I'm excited about...
So many things, but I think Superbowl 50 takes the cake! #letsgopanthers #keeppounding

8.  What I'm watching/reading...
We have a few shows that we have been watching lately.  Jake never really watched Friends (gasp!) and I have gotten him hooked on watching it. We are starting with Season 1 and going to watch them all. I'm loving watching all of the old episodes!

Jake loves Hawaii Five-0 and he's gotten me hooked on it as well.

Shameless...gosh the Gallaghers are such a trainwreck but it's a great show.

As for reading.....Remember when I told you I was excited for these books?! They arrived this week!  I love the way that the recipes are cataloged by season!

My Pages of Penrose January book review will be up on Friday, so you will have to come back to see all of what I've been reading! I will give you this little preview that I am so wrapped up in right now...

9. What I'm listening to...
A whole random combo lately.  Chris Stapleton, Adele....

10.  What I'm wearing...
Blardigans on repeat.  I found the deal of the century a couple weeks ago when a friend told me Barefoot Dreams had Winter Clearance going on and the Bamboo Chic wraps were on sale for $27.60!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly.  I quickly bought two for myself and one for a gift.  The Winter sale colors are no longer available (Opal and Amethyst Heather).

11.  What I'm doing this weekend...
Some shoe shopping for Ryleigh, my company party (we do a New Year thing instead of Christmas because of scheduling issues), and a 1st birthday party! Also hopefully a haircut. I've been toying with the idea of some caramel highlights. We shall see.

12.  What I'm looking forward to in February...
My little Valentine is turning TWO!  Where has time gone?!  #puddleofemotions

That's about it! See you on Friday for my Book Review!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: About Practically Penrose

Hello! Today I'm linking up with Andrea for Show & Tell Tuesdays! The first of 2016...

So, about me...

I'm Stacey. 

 I am a wife to Jake and a momma to Ryleigh.  
We have two dogs, Reece [our chocolate lab] and Kona [our white siberian husky].  
We just moved into our new home back in October, 
and we are slowly getting everything in their right places.

Most of the time, our life looks like this:

By day, I'm a commercial office furniture designer.  By dreams, I'm one of those artistic types that can never keep my mind from concocting new ideas. I love to draw in my spare time [when do I have that anymore?!] particularly charcoal portraits. I wish I was more handy with power tools and saws because I think I would build project after project for our house.  
And who knows, maybe I will write a book someday.

I'm not big on New Years Resolutions, but I do have some goals for the year that I hope to accomplish.  

*I want to take Ryleigh to the Aquarium for the first time, and take her to the zoo again.

*I want to get even more involved with the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.  My work schedule hinders some availability but I'm thinking of volunteering for the cookie crew on the weekends.  I know dates fill up fast but maybe I can get a couple Saturdays this year!

*Last year I decided I wanted to start reading more.  In 2015, I read 25 books.  I want to read at least 30 books this year as part of my Goodreads 2016 challenge!

*I want to host a successful church fundraiser and already have a really fun idea in the works!

I can't wait to see what 2016 brings!