Review: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1)Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I chose this book because the author is relatively local, and I saw her speak at the last Pennsylvania Library Association conference. She was really cute, and very bubbly, and passionate about her books. It was really interesting to hear about the author’s perspective with writing. One thing that struck me was that she wrote this book before any of the Twilight series came out, and they started to become a huge hit while she was in the prepublishing stages. Weird coincidence, and a nice popularity boost for her!

When reading the book, I was surprised about some of the gender roles it discussed. While the main character was a strong and independent woman, she was also a realistic female character, with all the body issues and hormonal changes that includes. The Chivalrous Lucious, while sometimes being an absolute jerk, was also good at pointing out the opposites of extreme feminism in a way that made it more of a compliment to the girl rather than a way to put her beneath him. Additionally, the main character comes to LIKE her weight gain, rather than finding some way to lose it again and feel beautiful.

All in all, I was sort of impressed with this little brain-candy YA book. It was more fun, and a little deeper, than I thought it would be. I would definitely read more of Beth Fantaskey’s work. Go, local authors!

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Every year since I can remember, my family has gotten together and made Ukrainian Easter eggs, or Psanky (I have seen it spelled several ways).  It works along the same lines as doing batik, where you apply beeswax where you want that color to stay, use multiple dye-ings, and afterwards melt off the wax.  While I am by no means a master, I have fun doing this every year, so here are the results from this year’s batch!

We’ve always started by hard-boiling the eggs.  I have read that this is not correct, but I’ve always used the grocery store egg dyes and never had a problem.  Then again, my eggs are not permanent:

Once the eggs are boiled (you can also use raw eggs and rotate them every few days for… a really long time until the egg disintegrates, or you can poke holes in the shell and blow out the egg), they need to come to room temperature before decorating, or the shells may crack when wax is applied.

Here is a picture of everything you need for the decorating process:

The cups, vinegar, and tablets are to make the egg dye.  Pillar candles are for melting the beeswax in the pencil shaped kistkas, to apply to the egg.  The candlesticks are easier to use to melt the wax off of your egg when finished.

Here is a partially finished egg, with beeswax on it and a kistka laying behind it on the block of beeswax.

Here is a picture of my finished eggs!  I had three casualties during the process… one due to explosion during cooking, and the other two got too hot when i was melting the wax off of them and they broke.  It was very sad 😦

In the future I would like to try permanent dyes (not to be used on eggs that you will eat!) so that the dye stays on better.  Store dyes tend to get spotty, or rub off when removing the beeswax.

So, what do you think?


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Things you didn’t expect to see again…

… Like this blog, for example!

But no, today’s story lies elsewhere.  Specifically, it began a year and a half ago when I was in a friend’s wedding.

(It was beautiful.  I was the maid of honor.  It’s always great fun to have a chance to dress up and be pretty, and get flowers!)

After the reception, I somehow fumbled my way through the spelling conscious channels on the internet to find out how to preserve flowers.  Then, I drunkenly stumbled down the stairs of the basement in my parents’ house, in heels and a floor length dress, to the dark basement room where we store the preserves that we make every year.  I found some twine laying somewhere, and tied the flowers up and hung them from a shelf, and promptly forgot about them.

Then, last weekend, I was rooting through the obstacle course that is our canned-goods-storage room:

When I turned around, and there were the flowers, a year and a half later, hanging upside-down and forgotten from a shelf, and perfectly preserved.

What a cheerful surprise 🙂

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For Japan With Love

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Strangely uninspired, need prompts!


It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted here!  I have finished three books, am working on a painting, and have done a ridiculous amount of online wishlist shopping.  I also finished up the events in my county’s version of The Big Read, and will hopefully get my pictures and story together enough to post about that soon!  We had lots of fun.

My current obsession has been with painting.  I’ve painted hooks on my walls, made a painting, decorated my bookshelves, and have even been painting my nails!  I miss knitting though, so maybe my painting phase is short lived.  We will see!

What has everyone else been working on?


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The Life and Times of Zach Morris, Futon.

Born in the early nineties, Zach Morris was blessed with a trendy pattern, and named after a popular nineties tv character.

He spent his early life in various dorm rooms, and his trendy pattern only added to his allure.  However, soon his dorm room owners grew up and got married, and he got shunted to the basement.  This is when he became a hand-me-down, and made his way to Sev3nty’s apartment.

She gave him a cheerful new white sheet to dress him up, and some nice hand-me-down pillows and a blanket to give him color.  Oh, and friends to sleep on him.

and Zach Morris was happy with his new look.

However, thanks to the ministrations of this crafty devil:

and his partner in crime:

Holey Sheet!  Disaster struck, and Zach Morris’s cheerful white sheet was ruined.  He was given a new sheet:

But, somehow, it just didn’t quite match his old hand-me-down pillows, and made him feel dark and sad.

Thanks to a discount fabric bin, some 40% off filling, and the fortuitous use of a neighbor’s sewing machine (Old Faithful sewing machine having finally kicked the bucket), Zach Morris was given cheerful new cushions to match his new look!

Now he can snuggle with these cute overstuffed cushions all day long!


(No futons, cushions, cats, or sheets were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

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Weekend project!

Spent the weekend with Monkey making this monster (sorry for the amateur photo!)

Nook Case

It is a case for my Nook!  Now I can just grab-and-go!  It was a really fun project and can be done in a day with a little help.

Does anyone have any projects they have been working on lately?

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