22 August, 2011

Showered with Love (a long post)

Hello friends!

I had a fun-filled and relaxing weekend, and not often is it that those two are combined. We spent most of the weekend at home, and I'll tell you all about it - but first... I must tell you about an iPhone app that is absolutely amazing.


Stanza was one of those "aha!" moments...
I was never really an advocate of reading books on a screen until I downloaded Stanza. I was looking for a reading app that held books in it for my travel time from Sweden to Ireland. I can't sleep on an airplane, but I can read, and if I find a good enough book, that will pass the time. The problem therein? What I think is good enough on the ground or at home, will not be good enough to read on an airplane. My standards of "good book" are raised very, very high for airplane travel. I wanted an app that held several books so that if one wasn't great, I could switch, etc. This is what led me to Stanza. While many apps have this ability (holding many books), most of the apps I came across were A.) paid and B.) required you to log in online before using it. Kindle, for instance, required me to create a user name and password online with my phone before I could use it to read.
Stanza was not only free, but did not require online registration, which I appreciate. My iPhone is really just an iPod Touch anymore... I used to use it as an iPhone, but I do not anymore (and I miss it), but I do still use it as I would an iPod Touch. Better than nothing!

With Stanza, I can see at a glance how far I am into my book, and which books I have completed.

 Also, and this is really cool to me, if I want, I can add a bookmark to a page, then easily refer back to it - as well as use a search option to find words within chapters.

 Last but not least, I love that I can set up and adjust my reading settings. I can enlarge or smallify the text as well as change the text color, font, and background. Additionally, for night reading, I have the option to reverse the colors (black background with white text). I have been reading in bed during my bouts of insomnia for a few weeks now, and I'm LOVING it!

This is not a paid tout, but I just wanted to share with you how much I love Stanza. You can download it here (or on iTunes).
Anyway - part of our relaxing weekend was that I read a lot. In bed, out of bed, in the car (waiting at the store) and pretty much whenever there was any sort of waiting involved. I love it!
So far, I've read:

I read Tina Fey's Bossypants on the airplane from Stockholm-Skavsta to Dublin.

 I read Kathryn Stockett's The Help mostly at night over the last week or so.

And over the weekend, I started and got halfway through Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken.
Mmmhmm... Love me some historical fiction and Biographies. LOVE THEM.
All three are really good reads, and I highly recommend them all. Go download them into your Stanza app. I'll wait for you here. 

Also, this weekend I had my birthday! Saturday was the big day, and friends from the states and Ireland made sure to help me celebrate.

 A chalkboard necklace from friends in Alaska.

 A gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers and a box of chocolates from our Polish friends.

 A cutely written letter, photos and other goodies (Koolaid and TacoBell sauce!) from friends in Washington.

And girly stuff from my sweet husband. Apparently the lipsticks came as a free gift with his purchase, but he was responsible for picking them out. He did a really, really good job too! The colors work great on me!

Also, I was inundated with tons and tons of birthday wishes from friends all over the globe on my Facebook wall and via email. 

V and I went on a date too! We got a special coupon online through livingsocial, for a pitcher of beer and a large pizza at a place called Sober Lane in Cork for half price. We had originally planned to don our swimsuits and visit the pool in Youghal (pronounced kinda like "y'all" for anyone who might not know), but when we got there at noon, they informed us that public swimming did not start until two. Bummer!
So we went on with our day anyway, just doing things a little earlier than planned, and that suited us just fine. 
Sober Lane! It's a cute little sports bar right on Sullivan's Quay, and a perfect little place to go if you're into sports. We are not, but still had a great time! Every year at this time, it's football (soccer) season, so the games were running on big screens in the bar. We enjoyed a pitcher of Bulmers and probably the most delicious pizza I've had in a good long while. It was absolutely perfect. The crust was crumbly, crispy perfection and there were just the right amount of toppings! Unfortunately, no photo, but it was a perfect lunch. I really recommend Sober Lane if you're looking for a good hang out in Cork that's casual and not to "sceney". 
After our amazing lunch, we met with some friends who happened to be in Cork at the same time, for coffee! Then it was off to the movies for a matinee. We saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and it was actually quite good. All the apes are CG, but it was very, very well done. I really enjoyed it. 
We were home by 7 and about an hour after we came home and ate dinner, our neighbor friends came over for a bit of impromptu partying. I made cupcakes the night before, which were eaten with delight, and we all took turns playing Guitar Hero on the XBOX360. Overall it was a very wonderful weekend!

Thank you everyone, for helping to make my day special!


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