Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Activities

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  FREEBIE...but I liked what the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish did, so Top Ten Favorite Summer Activities That Aren't Reading it is.  Now, it's no secret that reading is my favorite activity year round, but there are few things that are great when the weather is nice.  Here are some of my faves:

A Perfect Pitcher of Sun Tea
I am kind of a sun tea snob.  I like my tea super strong (thanks, Dad) and unsweetened (sacrilege).  Recipe for success:  take your standard glass (or plastic...if you're an amateur) pitcher, fill with hot water, place between 9-11 Lipton tea bags into the pitcher, put the lid on, and place that sucker outside in the sun until you remember to bring it inside, pull the tea bags out and SQUEEZE all the liquid out of them into the pitcher (more flavor!).  Chill and consume.  MMMM...now I need to make some sun tea this afternoon.

Movies In The Park
I live in an awesome little town that has a pretty spectacular outdoor amphitheater right on the river.  During the summers, they put on all kinds of free things in the park and movies are no exception.  Thursday evenings starting in July, you can find the park and downtown overflowing with people watching a wide-range of movies.  This year's lineup is pretty on point:  Jurassic World, McFarland USA, Hotel Transylvania 2, Jumanji, Inside Out, Avengers Age of Ultron, Star Wars The Force Awakens, The Breakfast Club, Zootopia, and Batman v Superman!
 
Music In The Park
The same venue above, as well as the newly built on in the town where I work (two miles away...seriously), put on free concerts every week in the summer.  Wednesdays are spent in the newly built amphitheater near the university and Fridays bring everyone back to the amphitheater by the river.  The lineups this year:  Petty Fever (a Tom Petty tribute band), Aaron Crawford, Infamous Souls (rock), Highstreet Band (10-piece, zoot suit band), Ty Curtis, Heart By Heart (a Heart tribute band), Longstride (reggae), Beth Willis Rock Band, Shoot to Thrill (an AC/DC tribute band), Ted Vaughn Blues Band, and Pyromania (a Def Leppard Experience).  And that's just one of the lineups for these two awesome venues!

Small Town Summer Festivals
Another awesome thing about the small town I live in:  Summer Festivals!  Aside from movies and music in the park, you can find a ton of festivals going on throughout the summer at the amphitheater.  For example, there is the annual 4th of July celebration (of course) fondly called Western Days.  How can you live in a town called Independence and NOT have a pretty stellar 4th of July set?  It's not possible.  We don't have just one firework show.  Oh no.  There are two:  locals night and 4th of July.  Needless to say, locals night is so much better than the show on the 4th.  Shhh!  That's a secret!  There's also the Hops & Heritage Festival in September (Independence used to be the hops capital of the world).  Community Fiesta is also a pretty awesome event celebrating Hispanic culture that takes place the Sunday after Labor Day.

Beach Trips
Who doesn't love a good beach trip?  I am down for heading to the beach anytime throughout the year, but Summer is the best because the weather is ALWAYS cooler than it is in the Willamette Valley and it's always a beautiful walk along the sandy shores.  I love the beach and would totally live there if the opportunity arose.

Camping
There's something about camping that I love.  It's a lot of work and you always smell like campfire, but isn't that the best at the time?  Relaxation...water...nature...yeah, buddy!  And s'mores.  You can't forget the s'mores!

BBQ Gatherings
I'm a huge fan of BBQ.  All kinds.  BBQing is even more awesome when you're surrounded by friends/family and laughing your ass off.

Outdoor Dining
There's something special about outdoor restaurant seating.  It's not always perfect, but it adds another layer of uniqueness to your dining experience.  With such unpredictable weather in the PNW, sitting outside for a meal is a treat and I love taking advantage of it.

Tasty/Refreshing Adult Beverages 
Though there are great beverages to be drank year round, there is something about those that pair so nicely with warm weather that really make sipping on them a treat.  Mojitos, Spritzers, Coolers...anything with some fresh fruit and herbs, I'm game!  My fiancĂ© is a bartender and he has this one drink that I equate to summertime weather...a Bourbon Cooler.  Yum!  Bourbon, Champagne (not my fave), simple syrup, lime, and fresh basil...down the hatch!  I'm also a huge fan of Mojitos and Vault 244 makes a damn fine coconut lemongrass one.

Sporting Events
I love the Olympics (specifically the summer ones), the Euro Cup, and the World Cup.  Sadly, these events don't happen every year.  But when they do...watch out!  You probably won't see me for a month or so.  Currently the Euro Cup is going on and boy has it been an interesting tournament.  Some crazy upsets and some great games!  The Copa America just ended too...the US was a trainwreck... And the Rio Olympics are gearing up to begin.  It should be interesting with all the controversy and health concerns in regards to the Zika virus.  We shall see!

Whew!  That was lengthy...and I apologize for it.  What are some of your favorite summer activities?

Also, look for next week's Top Ten:  Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads.

Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Mozart's Last Aria

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"I gathered myself and approached her.  'Madame Hofdemel?' I said.  'I am--'
'I know who you are.  It's obvious, to look at you.  When he cut my face, my husband didn't take my eyes.'  Her voice was curt and bitter." --page 57
  Mozart's Last Aria by Matt Rees 

I'm a little obsessed with Mozart and Vienna in general, so this book seemed right up my ally.  Not too shabby so far :)

Happy reading!
 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Library of Souls

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"I stopped to gape at them, stunned to realize they weren't lampposts at all but desiccated heads impaled on long spikes.  They were horrible, skin drawn and gray, tongues lolling--and yet, despite not being attached to throats, three of the heads had spoken to us." --page 137
          Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

It was a little slow going getting into this final installation of the Miss Peregrine series, but it has definitely picked up.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated 2016 Releases

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2016.  Man, oh man.  There are a TON of good books coming out between now and the end of the year.  It's so difficult to narrow it down to just ten, but here I go (in no particular order)...

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling (July 31)

United as One by Pittacus Lore (June 28)
 
Island of Glass by Nora Roberts (December 6)
 
Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich (November 15)

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (July 26)

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz (June 28)

The Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams (July 1)

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon (October 25)

Broken Prince by Erin Watt (July 25)

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer (September 6)

What 2016 releases are you looking forward to?

Also, look for next week's Top Ten:  Favorite Releases of 2016 So Far

Happy Reading!

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  The Gift

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"Ready now, he raises his arms above his head, pulls back, and with all his strength pushes forward and releases the object in his hands.  Then he stands back to watch with bitter joy as a fifteen-pound frozen turkey smashes through the window of the living room of number twenty-four." --pages 3-4
          The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

I am a big fan of Ahern's writing and am working my way back through some of her novels I've missed.  This is one of them and I'm quite enjoying a crisp holiday read during the heat wave we've been having.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  The Lake of Dead Languages

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's today's teaser:
"I remember the conversation I had with Athena before her last exam, when she saw me looking at the scar.  She told me that her aunt had sent her here to dry out from boys.  I had laughed and turned away from her." --page 62
          The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman

I've heard good things about this book and, while it's interesting, I am finding it a little difficult to really get in to.  Fingers crossed is really sucks me in soon.

Happy reading!