Sunday, June 21, 2015

Twinkle, Twinkle

The other day we had a few people over to the house for brunch. And by a few, I mean 50. If you're gonna make breakfast, you might as well make enough for a crowd, right?

There was a very popular Bloody Mary bar...

And yogurt and bacon and cookies...


...And did I mention Bloody Marys?

And then we had a baby shower and a gender reveal! That's right! My baby's having a baby! And it's going to be a...

Happy dance! Happy dance!

My fabulous daughter-in-law, Ashley, has wonderful friends and sisters who served as hostesses. They came in a couple of hours before the shower began to cook and decorate.

The theme was Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and it started with these cute invites.

So we decorated with stars everywhere.

But wait what's that on top of the book shelf? Right next to the baby pictures of the new mom and dad and the sonogram?

Yes, that thing!

Why it's a folded book by Reading With Scissors, of course! What shower would be complete with one? (Duh!)

But, Stephanie, you ask, what's with the 28?

Well, dear reader, Ashley is also a reader, and when it came to taking those cute baby bump pictures that everyone's doing these days, she didn't want to do the standard "Baby is the size of a cauliflower" pictures. She wanted to do something with books. (I told you she was fabulous.)

So a few weeks ago, I decoupaged this cool Chapter sign and we've been using RDCBs to mark the weeks. We started at 20 weeks and she's been taking a picture every month since. Here's the first one we did:

...and the next

And now we are at week 28!

Wait...Week 28? That means the baby will be here before we know it! Happy dance! Happy dance!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Book Review: A Spy Among Friends

Title: A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
Author: Ben Macintyre
Format: Paperback
Reading Dates: 08 Apr 2015 - 15 May 2015
Rating: *****

Before I read this book, if you had asked me to play a word association game and given me "Kim Philby," my immediate response would have been "spy." And that would have covered everything I knew about the man. I didn't even know which side he was on or where he was from. (Don't judge.)

That's what made A Spy Among Friends a real-live page-turner for me. I had to keep reading to find out how Kim Philby conned everyone, even his closest friends. Ben Macintyre has created a riveting read that follows Philby from his beginnings as a Soviet agent until his ultimate fate. (Are you like me and don't know the story? I won't spoil the surprise!)

I think what I found most interesting was how the spying seemed less like a James Bond action-adventure kind of job, and more like a Nick Charles witty repartee kind of job. Macintyre's description of Istanbul after WWI, where all the spies from all the sides seemed to know each other and dined and drank in the same restaurants, was especially vivid. Everybody was seemingly watching everyone else and writing home about it in encrypted letters.

This book really held my attention from beginning to end, which, by the way, includes a fascinating postscript from John LeCarre who worked in British intelligence at the same time as Philby. A fascinating book made all the more tantalizing by the fact that it's all true.

Highly recommended!