February Fancies

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Well – I don’t know about your neck of the woods – but my February hasn’t looked anything like the picture below! It did snow early in the month; but of course, I wasn’t even in the state! And it snowed one Saturday, but it was gone before noon the next day. The rest of the month had plenty of cold but was devoid of the white fluffy stuff…

And if I’m being totally honest – a couple dustings has been enough for me this year. I’m ready for Spring, warm sunshine, longer days and green! Bring on the Spring!

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Books I Couldn’t Put Down

The Beast Within by Serena Valentino – The second book in the Disney villains series; this tale follows the arrogant prince from Beauty & the Beast before he was cursed. This book was my least favorite (shocker – I know) because I wasn’t wild about the way it manipulated the tale of Beauty & the Beast…but it did so to tie all the stories together, so I get it. Still not my favorite, ha-ha!

Poor Unfortunate Souls by Serena Valentino – The third book in the Disney villains series; this book follows Ursula and the story of her life leading up to her decision to ensnare Ariel in her quest to dominate King Triton. This book was a lot more interesting to me and the story as a whole really started to take shape in this book…

Mistress of All Evil by Serena Valentino – The fourth book in the Disney villains series; this book follows Maleficent and really spins the tale of Sleeping Beauty in a unique way, where Aurora is actually Maleficent’s daughter! The book was really interesting and continued to tie the villains series together…but left me with a cliffhanger since the fifth book is forthcoming!

Once Upon A Dream by Liz Braswell – The first book in the Twisted Tale series; this book puts forth the idea that when Prince Philip kisses Aurora, he also falls asleep and the two must wake up from the nightmare they’ve been trapped in to defeat Maleficent before she fully takes control of the kingdom. All the characters from Sleeping Beauty pop up, but in slightly different and unique ways…and of course, there’s a happy ending!

As Old As Time by Liz Braswell – The second book in the Twisted Tale series; this book puts forth that Belle’s mother was the enchantress that cursed the Prince and because “all magic comes back on itself”, Belle is the person who must undo her mother’s spell. A very different take on Beauty and the Beast, populated with the familiar characters and..a twist, of course.

A Whole New World by Liz Braswell – The third book in the Twisted Tales series; this book puts forth what would have happened if Aladdin hadn’t gotten the lamp but Jafar had instead. Of course Jafar weaves chaos and despair after making himself an all powerful sorcerer and Sultan but Jasmine enlists the help of Aladdin and his street rat friends to wage war on Jafar and take back Agrabah.

*All of these books are considered “young adult” but I found the Twisted Tales series far more interesting than the Disney Villains series; the Disney Villains series definitely had a much more…”youthful”…tone and writing style.*

Books on the Shelf

I’m making a dent in the books on my shelf – as indicated by all the reading I’ve done this month! I’ve still got plenty hanging around on the shelf, but the things that I’m most likely to read next are…

Still Me by JoJo Moyes – The third book following Louisa Clark; follow up to Me Before You and After You, the story follows Louisa as she moves to New York to work for a wealthy family while trying to keep her romance with Sam alive, although he lives across the pond. I snapped up a copy of this at Target and can’t wait to read it – I love the two that came before; in fact, Me Before You may be one of my favorite reads ever. I’ve already put it on my nightstand to open up and start tonight!

And of course, I still have plenty of other books to read that are gathering dust on my shelves, ha-ha!

Must See TV

The Alienist – With only four episodes to go to wrap up the limited run series; I have to agree with reviews, the show seems to get better with each episode. While the show is not an entirely faithful retelling of the novel it’s based on, the acting is superb and Budapest works perfectly as New York City circa 1896. I know how the story will play out (I read the book ahead of the show) but I am drawn in each week to watching the story unfold and wondering if the detectives will catch the madman before he kills again. Such an excellent show!

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Victoria – The second season of Victoria was filled with romance, royal babies and reform…among other things! The royals took trips to France and Scotland; the episode where the royals travel to Scotland may have been my favorite of the show so far, I love the sweeping vistas of Scotland! The show also covered the Irish Potato Famine and the introduction of the Christmas tree to the UK (it originated in Germany; thanks Prince Albert!) If you love all things royal and miss watching Downton Abbey, I would highly recommend Victoria!

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The Winter Olympics – I always love to watch the Olympics and while I probably didn’t watch as much coverage this year, I still got in a little bit each night! There is just something so powerful about the swelling, sweeping music and the idea of peaceful sportsmanship…even if it only lasts for about two weeks. I especially enjoyed watching the snowboarding and figure skating; Adam Rippon was hilarious! I do wish the US figure skaters could have performed a bit better – the women’s competition was a let down – but hey, they’re still skating circles around me any day!

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Movies of the Month

Peter Rabbit – This movie was so cute! When I saw previews for it, I knew that even though it would likely be pretty childish..it also looked pretty hilarious and I wanted to see it. I remember reading Peter Rabbit as a wee kiddo and this movie made me feel like a kid again. The rabbits are funny and sweet (who knew rabbits touched foreheads to apologize?!?!) and the story line is pretty cute too. Cute is just about the perfect word for this movie as a whole – I’m glad I saw it; it was cute, funny and entertaining!

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Black Panther – This movie was so very good; I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! The plot was intriguing, the acting was superb and the costumes were absolutely gorgeous…so colorful and intricate. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone; while it is rated PG-13, the violence and language are minimal and the story the movies tells is great..and it has so many strong female characters! You also don’t have to be a die-hard Marvel fan to watch this movie; it stands alone and also weaves it’s way into the Marvel universe. Really such an awesome movie!

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Tasty Treats

I should have been on the Arbonne Thirty Day Cleanse through February 15th but my month got off to a rocky start and so my sister and I decided to forego the cleanse because there were too many other stresses involved while we were in Mississippi for my Nanny’s funeral.

 

We got delicious cupcakes from Margie’s Mixing Bowl in Meridian and enjoyed them all the way home (that was a long 14 hour drive…). Throughout the month I had two different boxes of macarons, delicious crack chicken noodle soup, cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, a lovely tulip cookie from Panera and fried dill pickles from Red Robin…among other things. Just thinking about all the good eats makes my mouth water!

Earworms

I’m still listening to my favorite podcasts as I go to and fro… I did add the Bible Binge with Knox and Jamie to the mix but otherwise, not much has changed on that front. I find where music is concerned I’m listening to a lot of instrumental music that I already have. I haven’t stumbled on anything musically that just really has hooked me in recently…

What I’m Looking Forward To

A New Hairstyle – Perhaps that seems silly…but I do absolutely love getting my hair cut and styled and I have an appointment with my sweet friend Melissa to do just that at the start of the month! Not only do I get to have my “hair did” but I get to catch up with my friend!

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Spring – I don’t know where the picture below was taken…but I’d like to crawl right into the middle of the picture and just take it all in. I am looking forward to warmer temperatures and longer days…and honestly, it can’t arrive soon enough for me!

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Opening Day of Baseball – My beloved baseball is returning even earlier this year; on March 29th! I’ve already been catching Spring Training games and I can’t wait for the actual season to start…and then at least six months of wonderful baseball stretch before me… yahoo!

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And of course, there are plenty of other “smaller” things here and there, spending some time with my Mom and shopping, a movie date planned with a friend and a few other things…

But – in a nutshell, that’s what kept me amused throughout the month of February. I can’t wait for Spring and all the wonderful things in store!

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