Friday, April 29, 2011

Ascend - Amanda Hocking

Ok, so I'm finally done with the Trylle Triology. Once I started the first one, I felt the need to finish them all. Good thing they were easy reads.

In the final instalment, you are able to see the complete change in Wendy. She is no longer the rebel. She has accepted her role as Princess, and even Queen. This part I enjoyed. It was nice to see her relationship with her mother. Wendy always believed she was unloved, and here we learn just how much Elora loved her.

Wendy also continues to fight for equality among her people, and even though this doesn't get resolved, you are left with a sense of belief. She will do everything she set out to do.

And if this were what the trilogy, or even Ascend was about, I'd probably have liked it more than I did. But, so sorry, I got annoyed. I really wanted to finish this, but it was difficult. I often had the incredible urge to throw my Kindle against the wall!

Did I ever tell you that I don't like Romeo and Juliet? Well I don't. And here's why. I just don't buy it! Asides from the fact that Romeo and Juliet are like 12, it's not real. Romeo meets Juliet at the party that he sneaks into to see Juliet's cousin as he's madly in love with her. Now suddenly he's in love with Juliet? And no, I have not gone off topic.

In the first 2 books, Wendy is in love with Finn. He's a tracker and doesn't believe they can be together. He doesn't fight for her. Very much like Gale in Catching Fire, he gives up. The night before her wedding to Tove, he goes to see her. He realises they can only have this one night. Since she wants more than one night, she turns him down. I respect that. Was really hoping to see them hook up, but again, this shows her growth.

What utterly irritates me, is a mere few days later, she jumps into bed with Loki, telling him they will only have that one night! Oh, and then she tells Finn she's in love with Loki! Hello.... Romeo?????

Maybe I'm bias. The troll thing still threw me off. Was hard to get into. Maybe if they were fairies I would've liked it better? Maybe? Maybe not?

Foto Friday - Symmetry

I have so many flower pictures from this past weekend. I'm sure everyone's tired of seeing them. And even though they make gorgeous symmetry pictures, I've decided to have a little more fun with this week's. 


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lushoto View

 Sunday, after the Easter Bunny made it's appearance, we drove up to this gorgeous hotel. There's a bit of a hike, and a gorgeous view. I just had to share more pictures.

The kids wanted to see if they could touch the clouds. We were oh so close!

Writer's Workshop

2.) The Royal Wedding… gift ideas.

The Royal wedding is tomorrow. Will I be running home after work to watch it? I'm still undecided. I have memories of my mother waking me up at 5am to watch the nuptials of Prince Charles and Lady Diana (she was a lady, only became a princess after she got married). My mom and I snuggled in her bed, and watch it together. Somehow I can't imagine snuggling with Ethan to watch. I don't think he's that interested.

This week Mama Kat has asked us to brainstorm some wedding gift ideas for the happy couple. After much thought, here are my suggestions:

1. A slip for Kate
How many of us remember that picture of Princess Di, with the sun behind her and her legs showing through her skirt? In case you've forgotten, here it is.

To ensure Kate does not have this happen to her, I think someone ought to send her a few slips.

2. Hats
We have all seen the lovely pictures of Kate and her hats. So why not add to her wardrobe with some outrageous ones?

3. A bajaj
If ever the Prince and Princess decide to come visit Dar, they would, of course, get the royal treatment with escorts everywhere. However, if they decide to escape, and want to get through Dar traffic, a bajaj would be useful.

4. His and her Masaai outfits
I really want to get a Masaai costume for Ethan before we go. And if I want to bring a little of Tanzania with us, why not give the happy couple one too? They could dress up next Halloween.

5. Disguise
With the paparazzi chasing them everywhere, I think they need a disguise.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Saw Mill

Easter weekend was spent up in Lushoto. I've been bugging Scott for a while now to go there. So when Lara asked us to join her family, I made sure Scott didn't have an excuse. 

Lushoto was beautiful. Fresh, clean air, mountains, water falls. Wow!

On Saturday we drove up to an old saw mill. Old. Not in use anymore. We didn't see anyone, but I have to wonder who cares for the cows? Had to share our gorgeous pictures.

Torn - Amanda Hocking

Torn is the second book in the Trylle Trilogy. I'm still not use to the whole troll thing, so pretending they are not trolls, sort of helped. 

The second book begins with Wendy bringing Rhys to Matt's house. As soon as they get there, the Vittra come and they are kidnapped. Wendy learns that the king of Vittra is her father, and not all that nice. Evil actually. 

Wendy does grow in this book. She's not as stubborn or ungrateful. She takes her position as Princess seriously, and does her best to learn the history of Trylle, as well as harness her abilities. 

Wendy's relationship with her mother also grows. She learns that Elora isn't as cold hearted as she thought. 

There's a little romance here too.Well a couple of them. First is Willa and Matt. I'm not sure why Wendy was stunned. Was it not obvious by the way they flirted? It will be interesting to see how this develops, as humans are not to get involved with Trylle's.

The second romance is a little heartbreaking. Wendy loves Finn, but he's a tracker, and therefore not in her league. Wendy learns it's been arranged for her to marry Tove. This didn't come as a surprise, as you could see it coming once he stopped being an expressionless man in Switched. And if a love triangle isn't enough, there's a third guy interested in Wendy. Loki is a Vittra, and proclaims his love for Wendy. Is it real, or a trap? Apparently we'll learn in the third and last book.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


In the past 9 years, Dar has had many changes. Sometimes it feels like nothing changes, but other times you are stunned by how much this place has changed. There are very few restaurants that Scott & I frequented 9 years ago, that still exist today.

Mediterraneo, happens to be one of them.

It's out in Kawe, and Scott and I use to go there often, especially when we lived out there. Now we've become one of the peninsula snobs, and barely make it off the peninsula. Mediterraneo has become the place we'll go for lunch on a Sunday, after a trip to Game.

On our way home from Lushoto this weekend, we decided to stop there for lunch. We know they make a great pizza, so Ethan would be happy. I was thrilled to see the pumpkin ravioli back on the menu. I have no idea how many years it's been since they last had it on the menu. 

As we were enjoying lunch, and looking out at the ocean, Scott commented that this was probably our last time there. Sad. 

We then realised that it was around this time, 5 years ago that Scott met Kerry. Our mate, Stephen, arranged for us to meet her. There was Scott and I, Stephen, his then wife, Lara, Peter and his wife, a Dutch couple that were friends with Peter and Kerry. I was insanely pregnant. And we, and by we I mean they, went through 7 bottles of wine. The following week, Kerry called Scott offering him a job with ACS.

And so begins our farewell tour.

Switched - Amanda Hocking

Ok, so we know I love vampires, and even like witches. I'm normally not a big were fan, but Nicky Charles changed that. But now I'm introduced to trolls. Still sitting on the fence with this one. 

Switched is the story of Wendy. On her 6th birthday, her mother tries to  kill her, convinced she's a monster. When she's 17, she learns she's a changeling. She was swapped for another child and she's a troll. A princess troll!

It's actually well written. I think my issues with the book stem from the whole troll thing. I just can't get into that. Her characters are great. Matt is Wendy's brother. He is kind, loving and protective. Tove starts off as a quiet one. He turns out to be heroic and wonderful. Then there's Rhys. He's human living with the Trylle's. He's viewed as a lower class citizen, yet he is positive and brave. Then there's Wendy. She's moody and fussy, and when we learn she's a Troll it makes sense, but she still doesn't fit in. She's still moody and fussy.

I read this on my Kindle, and at the end, instead of turning the page and reading an excerpt from the next book, it jumps right into it. And so, I shall be giving the next one a try. There's a lot of mystery and questions I need answers to. And I'm hoping to grow out of my troll-snob attitude.

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 8

I love flowers.
I know nothing about them, and do not have a green thumb. 
But I still love them.
I'm obsessed with taking pictures of flowers too.
Scott thinks I'm nuts.

Over the Easter weekend, we went to Lushoto.
It was stunning there!
The best, was all the pretty flowers.

Happiness is finding lots and lots of pretty, pretty flowers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Finding - Nicky Charles

Yup! I gobbled up this series!

The Finding wraps up the Law of the Lycans trilogy. And it didn't disappoint. I may even venture to say I enjoyed it as much as the 1st one.

At the end of The Keeping, young Cassie not only witnesses her uncle murdered, but she sees a werewolf attack her uncles lawyer and she learns she's also a werewolf.

Jump 3 years, and this is where The Finding begins. Cassie is now living in Las Vegas, determined to keep her wolf a secret and inside of her. Bryan is Ryne's Beta, and he goes off in search of Cassie and to bring her to Canada to join their pack.

This book was stressful. Poor Cassie. She's fighting the wolf within, her boyfriend is ready to sell her to pay off his gambling debts, she's attracted to a were, she learns her uncle's lawyer wants to have her committed, take all her money and expose her as a werewolf, oh and Marla's back!

I had to put the book down several times to calm down!

Cassie and Bryan's romance runs at a slower pace than Elise and Kane and Mel and Ryne. But Cassie is innocent, young and confused, and this slow pace is better suited for her.

I love how each book in the trilogy is different. She brings back the characters, so you know what's happened to them, but the main focus is original. She doesn't repeat the storyline. Each were-romance is unique.

I'm still determined to visit Stump River!

Egg Painting

Last weekend, Makutano House had an Easter egg painting and hunt for the kids. With Scott in Nairobi, Ethan and I thought we'd check it out.

They had boiled eggs to paint, but Ethan chose the paper machier egg. I thought this was a great idea, and will have to do it with Ethan myself next year. They had pre-made a few balloons with 2-3 layers of paper machier. They were sturdy, but still soft, so just the right feeling for an egg. And being a balloon, they were larger for the small hands, and there was no fear of the egg breaking and children crying!

After the eggs were painted, there was an egg hunt around the grounds. Ethan and Alessandro shared a basket, and walked around searching high and low, for the mysterious silver eggs.

This is the beginning of jotting down some fabulous moments in Dar.