Monday, July 25, 2011


Hi all.

I bet you've been wondering something for awhile. I'll say it out loud for you: "What exactly is the purpose of this blog? Sometimes she posts about books, sometimes about shopping, most of the time about nothing. All with really blurry pictures."

I've been wondering the same thing. I have to be honest, if I don't come up with a good answer, this blog may be going the way of the earth.

It may be helpful if you want to leave a comment on why you like to read my blog, if you do. Shameless pandering for comments, you say? Sort of. Shameless pandering or not, I want to know if this is really a purposeful use of my time. Because the way I see it is this: either this thing has got to get a whole lot better or it's probably time to shut it shut down. If you are shy, you can always email me. carie skinner at yahoo dot com. I think I'll open it up for anonymous comments as well. Cause you know, if your going to do it, it might as well be all the way.

Best, C

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gravity vs. the Girl by Riley Noehren

Gravity vs. the GirlGravity vs. the Girl by Riley Noehren

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a pleasant surprise! This book was very fun. Sure it's chick lit-ish, but buried among the story are all sorts of ridiculously enlightening insights. That's what I mean by pleasant surprise: I was expecting an ordinary fluff but along the way found some good gems of wisdom. I would be reading right along an suddenly I would be struck, "Oh my goodness, the author just completely nailed that aspect of human nature . . ." etc. Four stars.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Ages ago, I posted about my decorating dilemma and my favorite mirror.

We followed this tutorial, or our friend/handyman followed it. We did a little of the finishing work.

I love how it turned out.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I bought this Maxi-dress from Old Navy. I've never really fallen in love with the Maxi-dress trend, especially on my 5'4" frame. But I couldn't resist the stripes. I thought I could do something with it.

I bought the XS and it was huge. Wide and insanely long. We are talking the Too-Dangerous-To-Walk-In, Four-Inches-Pooled-On-The-Floor kind of long. Not to mention all that material was way hot.

I apologize in advance for the terrible pictures. I am obviously going to have to hire a new photographer. Good help is hard to find.

This is me, with 3 inch high Toms. And still too long to walk in.

So, I cut off about 12 inches and whah-la: new dress. Much better. I am not sure these poor quality pictures do it justice.


A few years ago I read an adorable book named Austenland by Shannon Hale. (Technically, I listened to it on tape.) I thought it was super and very entertaining.

I just found out they are making a movie based on the book! This is good news for several reasons:

1. Shannon Hale helped write the screenplay so you know it won't go to pot like some books to movies. By the way: read her blog. She gives updates from Jolly Old England about the filming.
2. Stephanie Meyers is producing the movie. And I think Stephanie Meyers is fab, whether you like the whole Twilight thing or not. I saw her speak once and she signed my book. Trust me: Fab.
3. Keri Russell is the lead. Don't you love her? I do.
4. Jerusha Hess is directing. Who is Jershua Hess, you may ask? She co-wrote Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre with her husband Jared Hess. I'm intrigued.
5. It's about a girl who loves Jane Austen and becomes slightly obsessed with Mr. Darcy. (Not officially based on my life, just so you know.)
6. It's an indie film, so when I see it I will feel all artsy and hip. My cool quotient will rise by at least 10 points just by watching.

Are you excited too?

P.S. Shannon Hale, Stephanie Meyer, and Jerusha Hess are all members of my church.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Wanna Be Kate!*

(*I don't really want to be Kate, I'm happy being Carie- it's a line from a favorite song by Ben Folds Five.)

I think Kate is great. (rhyme) Her style is classic and so lovely. I especially love how she dresses modestly (without looking like a Grandma.) She doesn't fall into the mode of most famous beautiful women, which is: dressing to only to expose their fantastic figure, resulting in lots of skin and little fabric. As a mother of a teenage girl, I thank you Kate. Such a great example of true beauty.

pictures via here

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Likeness by Tana French

The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2)
The Likeness by Tana French

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was like swimming in jello all the while someone cursing at you. Let me explain.

Swimming in Jello:

1. Seems like a good idea. Seems like a great idea.
2. Once you get in, you realize it's not. The premise never quite gets pulled off. You really want it to work but it doesn't.
3. It's too dense and thick and hard to make progress. You realize it's going to take forever to get to the end. Everything is drawn out and takes too long.
4. It's hard to go any direction at all. The characters and plot made some odd choices that didn't make sense (to me.)
5. You get sucked in and it's hard to get out.

Still it is pleasant in many ways. Great writing. Compelling (even if it's slow going.) I love the follow up to "In the Woods" - it eventually gives more closure to that story.

All the while someone cursing at you:
1. SO much language. My English friend says for all intent the Irish use the F word and Good Morning interchangeably. This book is sure proof of that.

All in all, if you liked In the Woods, you will like this book.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt

Okay for NowOkay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am such a fan of Gary Schmidt. If possible, I think I liked this book even more than Wednesday Wars. Schmidt has such a talent for 1)giving his narrator a great voice and 2)writing about serious subjects in a charming way.


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Fourth of July

We spent a leisurely day with some friends. It was kind of a marathon of a day. And perfect.

(Cute printables from here.)

(Cupcake toppers via here.)

There was lots of food, as always.

A trip to the pool.

Plenty of outdoor games.

There were loads of fireworks.

We put on our own show, led by Jason.

P.S. Guess what? I got a new phone. All these pictures are courtesy of my new phone and my favorite app: Instagram.

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