Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cover Me: Book cover of the month + the 6 things currently rocking my world

It's Thursday and, with so much work to do, I managed not to get much of anything done on the homefront. Therefore, my dear readers, you are getting the Louise who is stressed and overwhelmed and trying to figure out how she can get the most done in the smallest amount of time: laundry, cat-checking (it's not cat-sitting unless you're hanging out awhile), volunteering, coffee-drinking, blog-writing, tax-doing. What else? Oh, bother!

Luckily, it's time for the BOOK COVER OF THE MONTH (yes, I am making this a thing now), which means I don't have to be especially eloquent or verbose (but apparently, I am cashing in on those 10 cent words -- heh). For this month, I chose the lovely cover of Krys Lee's Drifting House.

I like this cover because it looks very melancholy. There is snow in one picture, fog in another and two shadowy figures seemingly captured in a double-exposed shot of some unidentifiable setting. The book, which I have yet to read, is Lee's debut story collection. It focuses on the people of North and South Korea, as well as Koreans/Korean-Americans who have traveled, for various reasons, to the U.S. To learn more about the book or Krys Lee, you can visit her website here.

In other news, I haven't had a wealth of time to or for myself lately. But when I have, I've been trying to partake of things that make me happy in an attempt to forget that this extended winter has been bringing me down. That brings me to this list, which I share with you because it's a pretty nifty list and I'd like to give you a chance to partake of these excellent finds, too!


1. Orville Redenbacher's Pop-Up Bowl: Confession-time! I am pretty addicted to microwave popcorn. It's my way of beating the snack-attack I get when I want something besides veggies - something with butter and salt, but that isn't going to use up my daily allowance of calories. But that's not what this is about. This is about the awesomeness of not having to wash the butter off your giant mixing bowl later. Or not having to search for the right sized bowl in the first place! Because good ol' Orville had a genius solution and that solution, my friend, is the Pop-Up Bowl. You pop the popcorn in it and when it's done, voila! Turn it sideways, rip off the plastic and eat your popcorn straight out of this disposable "bowl." Environmentally-friendly? Well, no, probably not. But I'm not sure microwave popcorn ever really was. The folks at O.R. should probably work on that. Nevertheless, it's pretty nice to have around during a Friday night Netflix binge. :)

2. This is such a great website for someone who wants to build her blog audience and now that Google Reader is no more, it really comes in handy for keeping all the blogs you follow (from every kind of site, too -- WordPress, Blogspot, Tumblr, etc.) in one place. There's even a downloadable app for your mobile device, so you can keep up with your favorite blogs on the go! Create your own Bloglovin profile here, and you can check out my profile over there by following this little link here.

3. Green Tea lattes: This isn't exactly new, but I just started drinking them pretty religiously. Instead of drinking more than one cup of coffee a day, I am beginning to substitute any second cups with these. Less caffeine, lots of antioxidants, and the possible benefit of boosting your metabolism. Plus, they're delicious, kind of earthy in flavor and for some reason, they make me feel like it's springtime before spring has officially...well, sprung.

4. Meeting Your Half-Orange by Amy Spencer: This confession is a little more embarrassing, but ever since I hit my thirties, I've found myself drawn to the self-help section more and more. I don't really know what that's about, except that I am someone who really knows herself but always wants to know herself better. Also, I have all these hopes for my life and as I get older, the more urgent some things feel. That said, I'm also a fairly independent, optimistic sort and I feel strongly that if I have no reason to ever be "poorly accompanied" as Mae West said. I'm a happy "quirkyalone" who, of course, still daydreams of finding a good match, but won't settle for a mediocre one. And as relationship experts go, I really like Amy Spencer's approach to dating.

She's very optimistic about figuring out what you want and not settling for anything less than full-on chemistry and feeling in-sync with someone (no, this has nothing to with Lance Bass). Moreover, Meeting Your Half-Orange is about being happy with yourself, first and foremost, with the belief that being happy in your own skin is what draws people to you. And what's great about Amy Spencer is that she even includes a footnote in her book that basically says it's not all for heterosexuals and that, although she uses gender-specific pronouns, those are interchangeable and that readers should feel free to substitute whatever they are seeking in the place of all those "Mr. Right" references. Want to check out more of Spencer's advice? Here's her Youtube page!

Pizza with an edge!

5. Pizzeria Aroma: This is really only good for folks who live in Chicago, but this little pizza place is near the Berwyn red line. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of Chicago-style pizza (though I'm also not a hater), so I really like their thin crust. Recently, I was bound to the apartment for a day, waiting for the Salvation Army to drop by and pick up a bunch of items I was getting rid of. (*Note: yes, I know all about SA's politics and that they're evil, they suck and I shouldn't donate to them, yadda, yadda. I don't have a car, though, and they were the only thrift store that would come and pick up the kinds of items I was trying to get rid of. Sue me!). Being stuck here, I realized I was low on food and so I decided to treat myself. I ordered their pizza for the first time ever, courtesy of GrubHub. It was cheap, it was delivered and it was delicious. A small, spinach thin crust, it was incredibly filling and I highly recommend it. Yay for my neighborhood! ;-P

6. I'll Draw Yuo on Facebook: My friend, Maya invited me to this group and it's just a lot of fun. It's a great way to get your creative juices flowing! The idea is that community members draw each other. They request that others draw them. Drawings aren't professional-grade and they're not all done by hand -- some are via Paint or other computer programs. Basically, all levels of illustrators are welcome, from novice to seasoned artist.

That's all, folks! Now it's time for bed, and I couldn't be happier that the weekend is almost here!


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