<data:blog.pageTitle/>

This Page

has moved to a new address:

http://samdobsonwrites.com

Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Sam Dobson Writes: February 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Crock-Potluck

I have four family members with February birthdays, so the easiest way to go about celebrating them is with a group birthday party. To keep things interesting food-wise, my mother came up with a great idea: Crock-Potluck. Think potluck comprised of slow cooker dishes only. It's more fun than it sounds, as all things involving food are, and is the perfect theme for a winter dinner party.




It's an easy concept that enables you to host your favorite people while sharing the cooking responsibility, it's genius really. Ask each guest (individual or couple) to bring a dish in a crock pot. To avoid getting multiples of the same dish, allow your guests to choose which type of food (side dish, appetizer, dessert, different kinds of meat, etc.) they would like to bring ahead of time. Have each guest bring copies of their recipe so everyone can take home a handful of new recipes to try. Our slow cooker potluck included Dr. Pepper Ribs, BBQ chicken, roasted potatoes, and macaroni and cheese (the crowd favorite and made by me!). Get creative and get to cookin'. 

Dig in!
Sam 

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Favorite Literary Love Stories

In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm willing to temporarily give into the hopeless romantic that's buried deep down inside me. While too much of the mushy-gushy stuff will drive me crazy, I do love a good literary romance to pull at my heart strings every now and then. Ladies, get out those tissues, because the books on my list of favorite literary love stories will get your heart pounding and your eyes welling.


1. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks, 1994)
Privileged teenage girl meets impoverished teenage boy and they fall in summer love, but it doesn’t last long. After fourteen years of separation, they meet again only to fall right back into the love they started so long ago. In old age, Allie starts to lose her memory but with the help of Noah, who reads their story to her everyday, it briefly comes back to her.
Why I love it: Where do I start!?! Noah loves Allie so much, that when her family leaves at the end of that first summer he writes her a letter every day for a year and to no avail. His love for her never fades and when her deteriorating health lands her in a nursing home, he goes with her. The whole novel screams romance right down to when Allie’s memory seems to fade completely and Noah spends every day trying to help her remember. What woman wouldn't wish for a man like Noah?

2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen, 1813)
A wealthy gentleman, Darcy, falls in love with a young woman far below his social class, Elizabeth. However, both must overcome personal obstacles before they can fully realize the extent of their attraction to each other. Darcy must learn to set aside his pride in order to freely love Elizabeth. Elizabeth must vanquish her prejudices towards Darcy in order to accept his proposal.
Why I love it: Austen’s novel is the classic romantic fairytale with a happy ending. This is the perfect novel for anyone in need of some sappy romance. Just as Darcy and Elizabeth learn to love each other, the reader learns to love them despite their annoying quirks.


3. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger, 2003)
A love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to uncontrollably and unpredictably travel through time and his wife who has to cope with his frequent, worrisome absences, The Time Traveler’s Wife is captivating. Clare knows Henry for most of her life as he has traveled back to her childhood beginning when she was six years old. Henry first meets Clare when he is twenty-eight years old and they fall instantly in love. No matter how deeply in love they are, marriage to a time traveler is anything but easy.
Why I love it: The sci-fi aspect of this novel turns an otherwise boring, typical love story into something much more intriguing. Henry and Clare make it work despite the inconvenience and danger of Henry’s genetic disorder. Their relationship is strong, even through the heartbreak of multiple miscarriages. Even after he’s gone, Henry still comes back to Clare, traveling to the future, and this curse momentarily feels like a blessing. 

4. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925)
Taking place in the glitz and glamour that is 1920's New York, Nick Carraway narrates the story of the mysterious and charismatic Jay Gatsby and the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan. It’s a story about young love lost and reunited when Gatsby returns from Europe and buys a mansion close to Daisy's home that she shares with her husband, Tom. He is determined to win her back, but everything gets muddled up with the help of booze, affairs, and guns.
Why I love it: I know what you are thinking and I agree. Daisy is a bitch and this is no fairytale. Although it doesn't end well for Mr. Gatsby, you can't help but fall in love with his charm and determination to win back the love of his life. This classic piece of American literature is a reminder that love can be lethal.

5. Atonement (Ian McEwan, 2001)
In this World War II era story about a love destroyed, Robbie Turner and Cecilia Tallis get only one moment of intimacy in the Tallis family library before they are ripped apart. Cecilia's sister, Briony, mistakenly identifies Robbie as her cousin's rapist, sending Robbie to jail and causing Cecilia to turn her back on her family. Years later, after prison and war, the reader is led to believe that Briony visits her sister to atone for her mistake and discovers that Cecilia and Robbie have reunited. Later, it is revealed that this story was authored by Briony and suggests that in reality both died during the war.
Why I love it: I know this novel is depressing as hell, but Cecilia, true to her feelings, stands behind Robbie despite the charges brought against him. Robbie's feelings for Cecilia never fade; in fact the memory of their moment in the library is the only thing that keeps him going through the war. And if nothing else, Robbie and Cecilia are reunited and happy in Briony’s novel.

6. Ulysses (James Joyce, 1922)
Neither an obvious love story nor an easy read, Ulysses is a story about a man who is on the verge of losing his wife. The epic novel follows everyday-hero Leopold Bloom over the course of a single, normal day. The relationship between Leopold and his wife, Molly, has been strained since the death of their son eleven years ago. Since the tragic death, Leopold’s intimacy with his wife has been nearly nonexistent. Molly’s affair has only added to the complexity of their marital problems.
Why I love it: At first glance, the story of Leopold and Molly may seem farthest from romantic. Despite Leopold’s inability to physically love his wife and Molly’s infidelity, Leopold’s love for her is unconditional. We are left with hope for their marriage with the last episode of Joyce’s epic novel, during which Molly’s thoughts turn to memories of when Leopold proposed, with a positive affirmation of their love. Joyce portrays a very raw and real picture of a marriage plagued by heart break, yet unwavering in love.

7. P.S. I Love You (Cecelia Ahern, 2004)
Holly is married to the love of her life and when he is stricken down by an unexpected illness her spirit seems to die with him. The only person who can pull her out of this ghostly state is the one she lost. Gerry has meticulously left behind love letters, complete with instructions so that Holly may get her life back. Following his written direction, Holly faces her fears, takes a vacation, and moves towards a bright and happy future.
Why I love it: What’s not to love about this heart wrenching story about a love lost? Boat loads of tears were shed while reading of Holly’s heartbreak, yet I couldn’t help but feel hopeful with the lengths Gerry goes to for his wife’s future happiness.

8. Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell, 1936)
This classic love story is everything but a fairytale, in which Scarlet O’Hara is not only pathetically unaware of Rhett Butler’s unwavering love for her, but of her love for him as well. Set in the time of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, Scarlet and Rhett are faced not only with the harsh realities of the time period, but with a relationship suffering from constant heart break, including the death of their beloved daughter, Bonnie.
Why I love it: Scarlet and Rhett are as dysfunctional as they come, the epitome of a love-hate relationship. Despite the destructiveness of their marriage, Rhett has loved Scarlet since the first night they met. Scarlet, although harshest to those who loved her most, finally realizes that she loves Rhett and resolves to win him back with the final line of the book, “tomorrow is another day”. Maybe Scarlet reminds me of someone I know...
9. One Day (David Nicholls, 2009)
An on-again, off-again love affair, One Day tells the story of two best friends and their turbulent relationship. While it becomes clear that both Emma and Dexter have genuine feelings for each other, there is always something frustratingly in their way (travel, relationships, career change). Over the span of twenty years, their relationship is tested, strained, and rekindled. It’s an emotional roller coaster that seems to give hope when the two finally marry. That hope is crushed by the cruel fate that awaits the happily married pair.
Why I love it: One Day will have you laughing and crying, but most importantly will have you cherishing the love that perseveres despite the cruelty of life. Although a little annoying, Emma proves to be quite charming and Dexter is your typical egotistical asshole. Their on an doff relationship keeps the reader coming back for more. Dexter wins me over in the end  and I cried for his loss.
So, if you don't have a valentine this year, don't worry! Stop by your local book store to pick up one of these sappy novels. Top it off with a good bottle of wine and you've got yourself the best Valentine's date ever! Sounds better than fighting the restaurant crowds out in the real world.

Happy Valentine's Day, love birds!
Sam 

Labels:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Spice Up Your Valentine's Day


Valentine's Day is just a few days away. That means all of your boyfriends, husbands, and want-to-be significant others will be scrambling to get you something holiday-appropriate. I've never been big on Valentine's Day, so Blake has it easy compared to a lot of men obligated to take this Hallmark holiday seriously. I don't mean to bash it, I'm just more a Christmas kind of gal. While I don't expect to get diamonds nor do I need some over the top secret weekend planned, I do think its fun to do something a little different.

Our Valentine's plans usually consist of a home cooked meal, a bottle of wine, and a romantic comedy. Blake will do a little something extra like battling it out at the flower stand to grab a few of my favorites. It's simple, but it's very much us. I much rather put my energy into something more intimate. That's what this day is supposed to be about, right? Connecting with the ones we love, actually interacting with them instead of just throwing some cheesy jewelry and chocolates at each other.

In an effort to help you actually connect with your partner this Valentine's Day, here are a few gift ideas to spice up your love life instead of simply emptying your wallet.





Love Lotions

A incredibly simple yet entirely engaging gift perfect for the bedroom is lubricant. This may sound like nothing special but if lube isn't a normal tool that you and your partner utilize then its the perfect little something to make your Valentine's lovin' more enjoyable. A basic lubricant can do the trick or for an added twist go with a "his and hers" product that offers warming and tingling sensations. 







 

Sexy Games

If you and your bed buddy are feeling adventurous, go for a bedroom game to get you both in the mood. If your are looking for something simple, sex position dice and playing cards are classics. For something more creative, try browsing the aisles of your local intimacy shop. This "Chocolate Tease" game looks fun and tasty. If you don't mind a little mess it may be worth a try. 



Read more »

Labels:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Baby Bookworms, Oh My!

I don't know when or if I will be popping out children, but if it does happen my kids will be subject to my amusement. Don't take that wrong way. I'm not planning on torturing them for fun, just some harmless fun that could make for some great embarrassing photos once they've reached the teen years. What's the point of having kids if you can't have fun with them, right?

I know all you mothers out there are rolling your eyes at this, thinking "what the hell does she know about kids". I don't have any human children, but I do have canine children. That's sort of the same thing, right? Just kidding! Don't get your panties into a bunch, I know its not the same. I'm just kidding, but in all seriousness I am planning on having some fun with my kids. I want them to look back at their childhood and think "Man, my parents are pretty cool. 

If Babies Were in Your Favorite Bedtime Stories

On Yahoo today I stumbled upon a gallery of babies dressed up as characters from some of the most popular stories of all time. How awesome would it be to show off these baby pictures? As a bookworm I particularly love this batch of baby book photos. If I was this mom, I would take this opportunity to encourage reading. At the appropriate age, give your child one of the pictures with the correlating book. So stinkin' cute! See, using your kids for your amusement can have educational benefits. 

Click here to see the adorable gallery worth dozens of cheek-pinches. 
Be ready for an overload of cuteness. 

Sam 

Labels:

Bookworm Engagement Photos

Smart guys pop the question with the notion that their girlfriend has most likely started planning her wedding since she was twelve. We can't help it, it's like a natural urge or something. I know not every girl day dreams about her wedding, some day dream about becoming professional athletes or politicians, even though I'm sure their future wedding makes a few appearances in those dreams too. My point is that once that bling is slid onto her delicate ring finger, its not uncommon for a bride to be to reveal that she has already planned half of her wedding in her head. We want our day to be special and unique to us.

That's the beautiful part of the manufacturing process of a wedding. Through all the fluff and decor there are little pieces of the bride and groom and who they are as a couple. If you really pay attention, you can see their personalities in all those little details. Of course some are more obvious than others. When planning our wedding, Blake and I put ourselves in to everything. From the color scheme (Blake's choice) to the popcorn bar (my obsession), we were in every detail. That's how I wanted it to be. I didn't want to pick something for tradition's sake, it had to be included because we wanted it to be.

When it came time for our engagement photo shoot, we didn't want to simply settle for a random yet pretty background. We required meaningful locations. So, we choose two different locations. I wanted a library backdrop and my California-boy husband wanted a beach shoot. These two locations described us perfectly. I feel most at home surrounded by books, Blake's serenity is the ocean. These were the perfect settings for us individually and as a couple. That's how you should be planning your wedding, with your and your fiance's passions at heart. My advice to anyone planning a wedding is to put yourself into every detail, make your wedding unique. Whether you and your hubby to be prefer a courthouse ceremony, a barnyard party, or an elegant affair, stay true to you. It will make your day all the more special.

For now, I will leave you with a few shots from our library photo shoot. As I said above, we did the other half on the beach but how many beach engagement shoots have you seen by now? They all came out beautifully of course, but the book-filled pictures are my favorite. Photo creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Enjoy,
Sam




Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography


Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography

Bookworm Engagement Photos
Blake & Sam Engagement
Photo Creds: Mel & Tim Photography







Labels: