Wednesday, October 31, 2012

52 Date Nights: Week six, Take a bubble bath

Free stay-at-home date night ideas PDF download here. (Not sponsored.) Previous date night posts here.

For tonight’s date night, we decided on #40 Take a Bubble Bath. Since I obviously wasn’t going to post pictures, I tried to think of what to use as a visual. As Friends is pretty much always the first thing that comes to my mind in any situation, I considered Monica and Chandler taking a bubble bath. Which lead to “Chicken? I could go for some chicken.”

So, I give you: romantic bubble bath (with champagne, just like Monica and Chandler) and…chicken. Thomas looked up the quote so he could get the order exactly right.

Our life is usually boring and predictable, which I like, but its fun to do something completely weird every now and then. Two people squeezing into a too-small tub and eating chicken? That’s weird. It practically counted as #47 Have a Comedy Night, but I don’t think this was the original intention of that activity. We’ll save it for another time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Show and Share

We got another box of hand-me-downs for Meg from my dad’s cousin this week. There were about a dozen pairs of shoes and Meg was in heaven. She tried on every pair and proclaimed them all beautiful. Some were very worn, but she’s three and she doesn’t even notice. (Heck, I’m in heaven because these are CUTE shoes and since I usually don’t get to wear cute shoes myself, I love when Meg does!)

Last night we were brainstorming what she should bring for Show and Share this week and I suggested she wear a pair of her new shoes to show everyone. She found that idea very exciting and took the task of choosing a pair seriously. It was then I realized all the shoes were clearly used. They’re in good shape and will be great for her, but they’re obviously not new and now I’m sending her off to daycare to brag about just receiving them. Which, hey, I’m all for saving money. I just don’t want the teachers to worry about us, you know?

This comes fresh off the heels of my Show and Share victory, too. Last week, I edited, cropped, uploaded to Walgreens, and picked up (with a coupon, even!) a picture of Meg, me, and my sister’s baby so she could show all her friends she has a new baby cousin. I was feeling pretty impressed with myself, especially since the week before she took plastic French fries from her play food set.  

And now I’m remembering the time she won a stuffed animal at our neighborhood block party and I encouraged her to bring it to show everyone. The thing is, this is a small block party. The neighbors don’t go out and buy stuffed animals especially for it. People donate whatever they’ve got (who doesn’t have stuffed animals to get rid of, right?) and everyone has a good time. So Meg of course picks the rattiest stuffed animal of the bunch, which is fine. We let her get whatever she wanted without influencing her choice. But then (at my suggestion!) she showed everyone at daycare her “new” stuffed bunny, which had obviously seen much better days.

It makes me wonder what everyone else brings for show and share. I mean, it’s every week and you only have so much stuff. I’m sure other people are reduced to plastic French fries every now and then, right? I pretty much let her bring anything she’s excited about, so we’re definitely not showing off.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shutterfly giveaway winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway for the $50 Shutterfly credit! The lucky winner was...Becky!

Enjoy creating your holiday cards, Becky!

Should it Stay Monday: Shoe Edition

Everyone keeps recommending skirts with my Should it Stay Monday posts. I love skirts. I have lots of skirts, because I love to buy them. I think they’re comfortable and pretty. But what SHOES do you wear with these skirts? I have crappy feet and can’t wear any kind of heel for more than a couple hours. Even thin flats make me ache all over by the end of the day.

I have two main pairs of work shoes, two pairs of tennis shoes, two pairs of boots (discussed here on Style All Over, in case you want to read more of my shoe history), and one pretty pretty pair of flats. I also have a few assorted heels, cheap flats, and sandals for when I absolutely need them (like wearing heels to a wedding), but I don’t care about fashion enough to put my feet through wearing them every day.

Shoes #1: the uglies
Look, I know these shoes are ugly. But Born shoes have proven to be the BEST for me. I tried to find prettier ones, but there aren’t a lot of options and I don’t care enough. They may be ugly, but they get the job done and I’m not going shoe shopping again. It’s torture.

Shoes #2: the decent work shoes

I personally don’t think these are as ugly as the black. They’re not pretty shoes, but they work fine for days when brown shoes are called for.

Boots #1 and #2: my loves

Discussed on Style All Over. Cliffs notes: Also Born. I pretty much alternated them all last winter. I love these boots. They are SO comfortable and look great with everything.

Flats #1 (and only): my precious
I think these are gorgeous. I love them so. I can usually make it through a day in them, but not two in a row. I wish I had unlimited dollars to buy a bunch more pairs of Born flats. (I seem to be extremely brand loyal. I’ve tried others, I swear. Shoes of all brands, styles, and price points. They haven’t worked out.)

So, I suppose this isn't so much a voting thing as a cry for help. One of my biggest wardrobe hurtles is finding shoes that work with any given outfit. What staples am I missing (black flats, maybe? anything else?)* What should I buy first? Are there comfortable options I'm not aware of?** Do I just need to let my feet suffer for fashion?***

*I do have brown heels and black heels I like (and neither of them are Borns!). They hurt, but the least of any heels I've tried/owned. I can wear them for a few hours, but take them off the second I can and don't consider them part of my day-to-day options. 

**I've tried Danskos, which are supposed to be good for people with bad feet, but I didn't like them. Should I try again?

***Even in Borns, I stay away from anything with a heel, including wedges and the like. So, tell me: do I need to suck it up and wear them? Or is there another option?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Seven Quick Takes: clothes, iPods, and trips

    7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!
  1. I have a hard time paying much for Halloween costumes (as I said last week), because I've been spoiled by the consignment shop down the street. This year, though, I went twice and found nothing. I tried one more time after writing about it and the store was stuffed with costumes. I got two for $18 and I'm very, very happy with them.
  2. They also had a ton of long-sleeve shirts for Paul on clearance, which was a relief because he didn't really have a winter wardrobe and it was getting chilly enough we were veering into bad mom won't buy her child season-appropriate clothes territory. (I'm cheap about those, too.)
  3. At home, I cleared out all of his short sleeve shirts and shorts, found the 2T box to put them in, and guess what was already in it? Lots and lots of long sleeve shirts and pants. Now he has so many they don't all fit in the drawer.
  4. THEN, it went from chilly to 80 degrees overnight and we spent the whole week digging through the carefully packed summer clothes, making a mess of them all. So I had to re-do the whole thing this morning (it's back to freezing now).
  5. Both kids have hand-me-down iPods in their rooms to play bedtime music and they both know how to use them. Yesterday Meg came running up to me and said "Mommy, my iPod died!" and it hit me Thomas and I didn't get iPods until we were in college. Even then, they were only second generation, so it wasn't as if we were late adopters. I know it's cliche, but it blows my mind.
  6. We just dropped Thomas off and the airport. His office is flying him to Chicago for the weekend for the Iowa-Northwestern game, including dinner tonight and brunch on Sunday. Rough, right?
  7. In TWO. WEEKS. that will be me. Two weeks! (Not the office-is-paying part, obviously, but jetting off for the weekend!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

52 Date Nights, Week five: Look at family photos

We’ve been crazy busy (no date night last weekendL ), so decided to make last night a simple, laid back date night. We Snuggle(d) in Sensuous Sleepwear (#4), while #19 Look(ing) at Family Photos. I recently finished and ordered Paul’s first year book, so we looked at that and also grabbed Meg’s.
Then we pulled out photo albums from when WE were babies.

1985 Jessica is watching you.
For good measure, I propped the life-size Baby Jessica poster on the couch.

(What? You don’t have one of those? I was the first grandchild and my grandpa developed photos in his basement.)

Nothing says sexy like a baby staring at you. Not just any baby, either, but YOU as a baby.

Previous date night posts here.
Free date night ideas PDF download here. (Not sponsored.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book review: A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s

Over the last few weeks, I've read A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s. (Which I found when Hilary tweeted the link to this article written by the author.) From looking at the Goodreads reviews, it seems those who regularity read feminist theory thought this was too surface-level but other readers enjoyed it more. 

I’m clearly no women’s studies major, given one reason I checked this out is because I didn’t even know what the feminine mystique was and wanted to find out. For some reason, I kind of thought (but wasn’t at all sure) it was ‘that mystical thing that makes women desirable.’ (In a positive way – not an objectifying way.) In this theory, The Feminine Mystiquewould have been an empowering “embrace your mystique!” kind of novel.

Turns out, the feminine mystique is “the mystique that surrounded the roles of housewife and mother, denying women’s need for any other source of personal identity or meaning in their lives.”

So. Sort of different.

Freidan/Coontz says 50s housewives were “misled into thinking that service to their family was the highest and only aspiration women should have.”

“’The female doesn’t really expect a lot from life,’ explained one mother [whom Coontz quotes from a Saturday Evening Post article complied from a Gallup poll in 1962]. ‘She’s here as someone’s keeper – her husband’s or her children’s.’” Those who wanted more were thought to be defective or not appreciative enough of what they had and thought themselves inadequate.

As I read more, it seemed The Feminine Mystique (the book) was to a lot of women what the internet has been for many of those in my blogging circle – a “shock of recognition and an overwhelming sense of relief they were not alone in their feelings.” Even I’ve always bought into the idea marriage and motherhood are these magical wonderful things and when I found out they’re hard and often not wonderful it meant a lot to find out others felt the same. I’m nowhere near as trapped as 50s housewives were – I even have exactly what Betty Freidan said would solve everything: a job (though not the housekeeper she also recommended) – yet I initially thought there was something wrong with me for not being completely fulfilled and blissful as a mother.

At the end of the book, Coontz goes into issues facing women (and men) today. I found the last section, talking about “the career mystique...the idea that a successful career requires people to commit all their time and energy throughout their prime years to their jobs.” especially fascinating.

“The feminine mystique defined the ideal wife as having no interests or obligations outside the home. The career mystique defines the ideal employee – male or female – as having no familial or caregiving obligations that compete with work.”

It's nice to think this could change, much as the role of women in society has changed since the 1950's.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Should it Stay Monday: No hints

As I said last week, this week I’m posting pictures of several things, some of which I want to keep and some of which I think should probably go. I won’t tell you what’s what and am interested to see if you agree with me when you don’t already know what I think. (Although I should probably call it "minimal hints.")

Should it stay: Blue faded
(polls are closed and screen shots are coming soon!)

Should it stay: Green pattern

Should it stay: Purple stripe
Should it stay: Toddler 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Seven Quick Takes, mostly about food

  1. It seems I’m the only person on Twitter who doesn’t like the texture of fluffy eggs. WHY must people insist on fluffifying the eggs? Don’t add milk! Don’t cook in butter! (That doesn’t have anything to do with texture, I just don’t like it.)
  2. I found a jar of Trader Joe’s peanut butter that needed using up and am eating it this week. Living on the edge! (It’s not on the recall list, so I’m hoping for the best.) (After I looked at that recall list, though, I realized I ate a ThinkThin bar that is on it. Oops.)
  3. Not sponsored, though
    this is an affiliate link.
  4. Have you tried BB cream yet? It’s a combination product that often takes the place of several things (foundation included). I’ve tried several and my hands-down favorite is Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse. I think different BB creams are meant to replace different products – right? Some don’t have sunscreen, some do. Some don’t replace moisturizer, some do. Well, the Water Fuse is super moisturizing and my skin has been better hydrated using it instead of moisturizer plus foundation. It’s not cheap and I wouldn’t have randomly picked it up, but I got one in my Birchbox a while ago and fell in love. Make sure you get the WaterFuse, as I tried the Dr. Jart Premium and didn’t like it – it was too thick. It seems most people have a favorite already - what's yours?
  5. Don’t forget to sign up for the Shutterfly giveaway! You could win a $50 credit to use for anything on their site.
  6. Someone made the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls for mom's club today and they were amazing. I'd always heard they were good, but I'm not much of a cinnamon roll person (or a baking with yeast person), so I dismissed them as something I'd never make. I may need to change that.
  7. At Christmastime I volunteer to bring cookies to everything so I can prep anytime I want and freeze them instead of having to make something right before leaving. I started making batches a few weeks ago to cut down on holiday stress, but they've been slowly disappearing from our freezer. I've made 17 dozen and we have about 4 dozen left. Maybe we need a new freezer.
    (I should mention I'm rather free with cookie gifts when I feel like I have plenty so I've given away 8 dozen so far. They're never going to last until Christmas.)
  8. I still don't have Halloween costumes for the kids. I'm just not into Halloween at ALL this year and costumes seem like a whole lot of money for some crappy fabric. Meg said cheerfully she'll just wear her costume from last year (love her!), but I'm not sure it will fit. I know Paul's won't. Have you seen any good sales?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

52 Date Nights: Week 4, Watch a Sports Game

Week 1Week 2. Week 3Date Night Ideas PDF download here. (Not sponsored.)

With Thomas’ beloved St. Louis Cardinals playing for the National League Championship this week, #27 Watch a sports game and eat stadium food seemed like a no-brainer. Luckily, the game went pretty well for the Cardinals so no one got cranky.

We planned to have bratwurst for dinner, then nachos and beer with the game after the kids were in bed. We ended up still recovering a bit from the stomach flu last week, though, so we skipped dinner and just had nachos, which had the bonus of clearing out our fridge. We threw on rotisserie chicken leftover from lunch and vegetarian taco filling (black beans, mushrooms, corn*) from the day before. Plus cheese of course. Lots of cheese. I think cheese + chips should be the default method of eating leftovers.

*When I realized we were eating corn on corn (chips) I obviously thought of Diane. Corn!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Holiday card giveaway!!

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly.

I’m not a Halloween person and Thanksgiving to me is a day, not a season, so I don’t think Christmas planning can ever start too early. I like it better, actually, before winter starts and I start to feel the pressure to get everything done. I’ve already got present lists and decorating plans in my head and am starting to get them organized (which means I’m not really that early on the planning this year – I think Jen has all her presents done and wrapped!)

So far I have:
1.     Ordered fabric to make super-secret presents.
2.     Purchased iTunes gift cards, for stockings (I got them when they were 10% off at Target!)
3.     Speaking of stockings and Target, every time I go (which really isn’t all that often, since we’re not made of money and things just jump into my cart there) I grab a few dollar spot items I think might work well for stockings. (And a whole bunch more I “need” for other things, but we won’t go there.)
4.     A folder on my computer titled “2013 calendar” with pictures named “July” or “September” so ordering calendars will be quick and easy. I wish I could order now, but I try to do it at the last minute so the pictures of the kids are as recent as possible. I am planning to get some staged pictures this year – like the kids in their Christmas outfits, so I have a list.
5.     Along the same lines: a list of pictures I need for various other things – like “M with Grandma for X project.” Maybe I’ll actually get the camera out at Thanksgiving this year!
6.     A list of some of the decorations we're Freecycling this year. I've been waiting 9 months to get rid of a couple mini-trees.

Next on the list: Christmas Cards!

I think I’ve narrowed my decision to these two cards. I prefer stationery cards (which the top one is), but will see what looks best with whatever picture I end up choosing.

If you’d like to order Holiday cards – or anything else – from Shutterfly, leave a comment (saying anything!). For an additional entry, tweet a link to this post and tag me (@JesabesBlog), then come leave a comment saying you did so. The winner will receive a promo code for $50 off their total order (does not include shipping & cannot be combined with any other promos). The contest will be open for one week, ending 12:00 pm central time on October 23rd, 2012.

For other savings opportunities, check out Shutterfly’s special offers page or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Shutterfly is providing me with a promo code for $100 off one total order for this post and sending a $50 promo code to one of my readers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Should it Stay Monday: Is this detailing lame? Or OK?

I’ve had this shirt for several years. This isn’t one of those “I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion this wasn’t a good choice” dresses/sweaters/etc. I think it looks fairly good on me, I just am not sure if it sends the right message. Does it look a little like “hey! I’m a plus-size shirt!” or maybe “I shop in the old-lady department store”? I don’t think so, but it often looks that way on the hanger. I pass it over in my closet often, but when I do put it on I usually think I look fine.
Crappy cell-phone picture because my real
camera had the nerve to have a dead battery
It’s tagless and has been washed so many times I can’t read the printed-directly-on-the-fabric label, so I’m not sure what the brand is or where I bought it (I’m guessing Younkers.)

Updated: Poll results

Up next week: No hints! I’m going to take pictures of several things, some of which I want to keep and some of which I think should probably go. I won’t tell you what’s what and am interested to see if you agree with me when you don’t already know what I think.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Seven Quick Takes, new niece edition

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!
  1. I’m an aunt! My sister had a baby:) When we visited them in the hospital, I kind of wanted to just grab the baby and settle in for the night. I was the first of my siblings/in-law siblings and all our friends to have babies, so it feels weird to not be the one taking care of her. (However, it did not give Thomas or I baby fever. We’re good for now.)
  2. Which reminds me! My parents’ three grandchildren have the same age differences as their three children. The first two (Meg and Paul) are about two years apart and the third (new baby!) is 16 months younger. I really can’t imagine this baby being mine. I now understand my middle sister’s jealousy of the baby of the family much more clearly, because if I had a new baby Paul would be freaking out. He’s all mama all the time.
  3. The Blathering is in FOUR WEEKS!
  4. I have a couple new posts up at Style All Over: flat-soled boots, dry shampoo
  5. Meg is really into dark = bedtime right now and I’m not sure what we’re going to do when that changes. I’m all for bedtime at 6pm in the dead of winter, but I sense that won’t really work.
  6. Paul loves to steal water bottles and sippie cups, so it's nearly impossible to contain germs around here. Thomas and I both carry around water bottles (as Meg and Paul do sippies) so they can't be spilled, but that means it's easy for Paul to drink from them. He got the stomach flu Tuesday and, like clockwork, Thomas, Meg, and I all came down with it yesterday. That was really not fun. Luckily, it was basically a 12-hour virus and over pretty fast.
  7. The illness hit Meg in the car (of course), so her car seat had to be removed, dismantled, and cleaned. When I went to put it back today, I figured I might as well vaccuum around her seat...then thought I might as well do the floor, too...then might as well do the floor in the front...and before I knew it I'd detailed my whole car, cleaning the windshield, console, and all. It looks brand-new.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

52 Date Nights: Week three, Play a video game

Week 1. Week 2Date Night Ideas PDF download here. (Not sponsored.)

Thomas was really excited about this date night, as he’s always trying to talk me into playing video games. (Well, he used to. He gave up a while ago, because I always said no. Sorry, honey!) We played Mario Kart all the time in college on his Game Cube, both individually, together, and with friends. I used to spend hours trying to beat my time on the cruise ship course, which was my favorite. We still have several inside jokes about various things that happened. One of our friends always thought Baby Peach was out to get her and called her “that little b****, Peach.” (If we could go back and play the game in his apartment with our friends I’d play it ALL THE TIME. It’s just not the same in our basement.)

Now we have it on the Wii, which I don’t like as well, mainly because I learned to play on a different console, but also because the Wii isn’t really meant for controller-based games. Since I haven’t really played in years, it was rather comical. A good time was had by all.

(And, yes! Those are our custom Miis in the carts. Or, excuse me, karts.) (Why with the K? Can it not be Mario Cart?)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Should it Stay Monday: Open-Front Cardigan

Alright, up this week is what is apparently called a marled open-front cardigan. What the heck marled means, I have no idea. (Oops, just googled and that's apparently the color, which is different from the one I own. Disregard!)

I got this at Kohl's a few years ago - not sure if the link will work, since all it shows is the item isn't sold there anymore. I've always had trouble styling it, as I don't want to look like a tent (which may beg the question of why I bought it, but don't get smart with me). (I bought it because it was on clearance, of course.)

This sweater was the victim of an unexpected fashion emergency this past week, which only emphasized it's tent-like properties and earned it a spot on Should it Stay Monday.
I managed to find a safety pin, but I think we can all agree this isn't a good look.
And yes, I always intend to cut the tag off, but it has useful information, like the style number that helped me find the listing to link to this post. (Or perhaps because I always forget to do it.)

This is how I usually wear it, taken later in the day when my shirt had finally dried:
If I've learned one thing, it's to not take
pictures in the bathroom at work anymore.
I sometimes tie it in front, but there's too much fabric for that to really work. I wish I could wrap it all the way around and tie in the back, but there's not quite enough material for that.

So. Do you have suggestions for how I should wear this? Should I just get rid of it?

Updated: Poll results
Should it Stay: Grey, open-front cardigan

Friday, October 5, 2012

Seven Quick Takes

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!
  1. I've realized I have a little problem with the Stay-at-home Date Night posts, in that I like to be kind of snarky or sarcastic and worry that Hallie, who gave me her blessing to use her list for my project, might think I'm snarking on her ideas. That's certainly not my intention, I'm just naturally sarcastic and happen to like posts that are as well.
  2. Monday morning I realized I might do a bit too much scheduling of posts when I opened my reader thinking “Ooh, I wonder what my post is about today.” (I do this because I tend to write in bursts or 2 or 3 or sometimes 6 posts at once, then nothing for several days or even a week.)
  3. Also, I spend all week writing down quick takes here and there and hope by Friday I have seven. I think a lot of quick take people do this, though. I don’t always get around to posting them, which is why I have dozens of files on my computer named things like “Quick Takes 5-9-12.”
  4. Panera’s radio ads make me want to vow to never eat there again.
  5. Also, that Barack Obama "gotta [do this], gotta [do that], gotta vote" radio ad makes me want to take a hammer to the radio, Office Space style.
  6. If you couldn’t tell, I’m in one of my radio phases at work at it’s not going well. If I have to hear that Flo Rida whistle song one more time I’m going to throw up. It’s just so gross. Why do I have to hear this at WORK? (Or in the car. Or anywhere, really.) I’m not even “think of the children” on this one, because I HOPE they don’t get it. BUT I DO. And I do not appreciate it.(I listen to online radio streaming, so I can’t switch between stations easily.)   
  7. Today at Style All Over, I answered a reader question about belts and a couple of the rejects were so ridiculous I thought I'd treat you to them.
    On the left we have the Anne Klein Tortoise Patent Panel belt, originally $48.00, because you can't put a price on your love for The Lion King.
    On the right, the Michael Kors Logo Belt Bag. I think we all know they can call it a "Belt Bag" all they want, but really it's just a $55 fanny pack.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

52 Date Night Ideas: Week 2

Week 1 hereDate Night Ideas PDF download here. (Not sponsored.)

We got the Sunday paper this week, which inspired us to tackle #22 Complete a crossword puzzle. Also, a bottle of wine. Seemed like it would liven up the crossword. Unfortunately, it turned out we were both hoping the other person was good at crosswords and neither of us was in luck. Especially since it was the New York Times’ crossword and we apparently don't speak that language. 

After a while we gave up and switched over to the word jumble. Which was also embarrassingly hard, but we finished it! We also finished the wine.* GO US.
You can see how pathetically few words we got on the crossword.
*The bottle was only half full when we started.

We then decided to #29 Take a Quiz and I chose the 5 Love Languages Quiz without even realizing that was the actual suggestion on Hallie’s list. I hadn’t looked at the descriptions in a while and actually just went over to look and see if she meant more of a knowledge quiz – like the crossword puzzle – and we’d missed the point. Guess not!
I’ve wanted to take the love languages quiz for years, but have never actually done it. I even checked out the book from the Kindle lending library in May. Still haven’t read it.
We discovered Thomas’ #1 love language is physical touch, which, coincidentally, is my last choice. I don’t even know how it got those 2 points. I should make them a negative 2. I’ve heard this is common for couples with small children? The wife wants everyone to back off and stop touching her, while the husband misses the wife who used to want to snuggle? That’s us. (DON’T. TOUCH. ME.) (I’ll hug you in NOLA, though.)

So that was helpful. Not sure what we’re going to do about it. Maybe I should read the book.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September 2012 books

I thoroughly enjoyed this, but if you haven't read the Faith Fairchild series (this is book 20) you might not so much. There wasn't a mystery until page 102 and no 'body in the boudoir' until page 120 (out of 238). I didn't care, though, because I liked the rest of the story so much.
I liked the first few books in this series, they're going downhill fast. The premise behind the first book was a group who liked to study famous historical murders being confronted by a real murder. However, the group then disbanded and hasn't played any role in the rest of the books, leaving them kind of anchorless.

This was published in May of 2012 and people were excited for a new book from Tess Gerritsen (who writes the Rizzoli & Isles series the TNT show is based on) only to find out it was a reprint. It was originally published in 1993 and is a combo mystery/romance, predating Gerritsen's psycological thriller days. Since I got the book from the library, I wasn't as angry as all the people who bought the book expecting something new, but I was a bit thrown. Gerritsen has come a long way since her romance novel days, but this was a quick, entertaining read.

I read this for Chicken Book Club (formerly called Twitter Book Club, until we discovered there were too many of those) and I loved it. Loved. Once I started it, I couldn't stop. I can't imagine how much work went into lining up all the little details and weaving them together. (You should read it, too, and join us for book club on October 24th!)