Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Magnolia by Kristi Cook



Yet another book I read in one day. I purchased this book because I am going to a Young Adult/New Adult book rave. This author is going to be there and I've heard of her anyway since I have an author "friend" and they are friends. I gave this 5 stars. I was so hooked on the story!

I wanted to read this anyway since it sounded like a good book. Check out the Goodreads synopsis here. The cover is also super cute! (doesn't Jemma look like she wants to slap the crap out of Ryder in the photo? LOL ) Also, the name of the book reminds me of the movie Steel Magnolias. Instant love.

This is the story of two households: The Cafferty's and The Marsden's. I know sounds so Romeo and Juliet like, huh? Well it's the opposite. The families love each other but Jemma and Ryder are more at war. (by the way...the last name Marsden isntantly had me thinking of a boy who looks like James Marsden. If you don't know him, you are crazy. He is Cyclops in X-Men and is in 27 Dresses. Love. Him. His personality also seems to fit Ryder, so it was perfect. Not to mention the dimples. )

The violent storm that comes through in the book kind of sounds to me like it's a symbol of Jemma and Ryder's relationship. There are the calms but then also the violent parts. Check it out to see if they are ever able to work out their issues with each other. Let alone the fact that their families already have their entire lives planned out for them. You know, oh you guys are the same age, you are SO getting married!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Favorite Book of the Year

I just read a book yesterday that I fell in love with so much, it made me want to get back into writing my blog. Let's hope I can stick to it again. I figure if I do a lot of book reviews since that is what I have been doing with most of my down time, I should be good. I figure I can also review books I read to Emma.
The book that made me feel this way is:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

I was referred this book my local bookshop owner. She is amazing at recommending things, so just based on her description, I went and grabbed it off the shelf. Other things that made me fall in love with the book before I even opened it:
1. The cover is so beautiful in my eyes. Simple.
2. The paper is that antique type that looks like it's been ripped on the edges of some. I love that! (also, it's not bright white)
3. It has that yummy book smell....hold on let me sniff it again. MMMM
4. The bookshop owner told me it was about a bookshop owner. SOLD. (I think that should have been what I went into...or something in the book business)

If you'd like to read the Goodreads synopsis, click here.

A.J. Fikry is a bookshop owner on a small island off the coast of Hyannis. He is having a pretty down life lately. His wife died recently and the bookshop is going under. This makes the already cynical, snarky, book snob even more so. Then one winter day, someone leaves something for him inside his store: a baby. This is something that will turn his life around. Each chapter begins with A.J.'s notes on as to why he loves a certain book and his reasons for you to read said book. To tell more on this, would be like me reading the entire book to you. It's such a heartfelt book and makes you realize even more why we all love reading and the things we love about books and how we love to share them with others. I read this in one day so it is definitely a quick read, but it could also be because I refused to put it down.

One of my favorite quotes in the book is: "A place is not really a place without a bookstore". How true is that?! Seriously, it's one of the first things I look for, or a library.

This book has made my love for literature grow even more so. It's made me wish I had enough money to open up my own shop. My only issue would be how nervous and shy I get talking to other people.






Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Family Time

On Monday I read what could possibly be the greatest post I have ever read on any blog. Ever. Raven from Don't Quote the Raven spoke about the video on Facebook showing how social media is taking away so much from our personal lives. I know I said I didn't blog lately because of my job not having Bloglovin' available anymore, but I guess that just goes to show you, I wouldn't even go on at home. My life with Emma is too important to me to waste worrying about blogs or blogging about the random things we did.

Sure, when she was a newborn I snapped about a million photos a day of her (I recently bought a copy of all of her first year from Snapfish...I should know) , but as she was getting older and becoming more mobile, things became harder to do. I now use the video option on my phone to capture her and then take photos from that. Thank you, Samsung Galaxy 4S! Do I capture everything? No. Why? Because I am too busy trying to live the day with her to be worried about taking the camera out for "memories" of it. Maybe it's just me, but I can't be bothered with carrying my phone or camera in my hand to capture every second of a day I want to remember. I feel like that takes away from the moment. And even if I do, nothing happens. Isn't that always the way? You go to video her dancing, just to see she stops as soon as you get the phone/camera, lol. 

Raven's post made me realize something even more. Over the last couple of weeks I had signed up to a do an online party and then even became a consultant. Sunday night was my launch and I can't even begin to explain how stressed I was. I had to create a bunch of posts on the Facebook event page within an hour or so; and it was all just too much for me. I kept thinking, I can't do this. I know my regular job with my eyes closed, but to take on something like this where I need to be on the phone/email or what have you throughout a day just to pretty much have a business of my own, I just can't do it. I'd much rather not be stressed worrying about if I can do that job or not and just live life. I have a job that pays well already and I have great benefits for my family. The rest of my time should be dedicated to just them. Sure, if I was a stay at home mom, maybe I could do it. I just don't think I have the actual time for it now in my life.

Plus, as silly as it sounds, anything that takes away more of my reading time, is a no no lol.


Re-reading this, I don't even know if this post makes any sense. I'll still publish it though....








Monday, May 5, 2014

Anybody out there?

Hello to my (if there are any even left) readers. How have you all been doing? I am doing pretty well. Work is hectic which was the first reason I stopped blogging. It all got to be so much for me.  I am so sorry I kept promising to come back to the blog and haven't. I guess because of how Bloglovin is blocked at my job and I can't read all of yours. It makes me feel guilty for expecting the opposite in return. Speaking of which, do any of you use any other site to keep track of the blogs you read? I am wondering if I should just do something like that. I do have some of you liked on my FB so I can see some posts but I don't comment since I use my phone the most for FB.

Emma is now 2 years old! Can you all believe that???!!! I still don't know where those 2 years went. Here is a picture I made of her for Instagram that shows her from birth till now.




I am hoping to get back into this blogging thing because I truly enjoyed "meeting" all of you! I hope some of you are still out there. Let's hope this isn't my last post for a while!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Checking in

Hello everyone! I am truly very sorry about being MIA not only from blogging, but from reading all of yours as well. I just cleared my insane amount of unread posts on Bloglovin' and hope to try to start back up again.

Me and the family are well. Emma is now 19 months old. She is doing so much. Talking is her new favorite thing. She keeps trying to say new words everyday. I love it!

As for the reason for my disappearance; I can only say that I haven't had a lot of time at work to read or blog. I did most of this there and then updated at home. When I tried to log on the other day, it looked like Bloglovin' is inaccessible from work now. I thought I was going to cry. I can't promise I will be totally back, but I will try!



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Guiness shepherd's pie

I was on the search for a new meal to cook for us at home and figured, why not try a shepherd's pie recipe?! I looked a few up and I first tried one made by Alton Brown. It turned out good, but the herbs in it was too much flavor inside it for us. I came across this one from The Hungry Housewife blog via Foodgawker website. 


Sure, there are more steps to making it, but OMG it is delicious! Aaron and I love it and so does little miss Emma! Anything she loves is definitely a thumbs up! 

This recipe has become part of my regular meal plan. I make it about once a month, I think. I'm sure I will make it even more so when the weather cools down. 

Here is the recipe! (copied from site)
Tonight, I actually made a smaller batch of it since there is just the three of us. Again, it came out amazing. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ pounds Organic ground beef 80/20
  • 1 (1lb) bag frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 2 packets of dry Brown Gravy Mix
  • 1 medium onion
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 bottles Guinness Beer
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste ( I actually have forgotten this a couple of times and it came out fine)
  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I don't add this)
  • 3 pounds baking potatoes
  • ¼- ½ cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375
Potato filling
  1. Boil the potatoes in slated water until fork tender.
  2. Drain completely and place back in pot so all of the water evaporates.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl add butter and potatoes.
  4. Mash until smooth, while adding the milk for a medium consistency.
  5. Add salt and pepper.
Meat filling
  1. Cook and drain ground beef.
  2. Place drained beef back in skillet and add 1 bottle of Guinness.
  3. Cook until beer has almost cooked out.
  4. Add tomato paste to meat
  5. In a medium sauce pan, prepare the brown gravy according to package directions,
  6. however, use beer for half the liquid called for( 1 cup water, 1 cup beer)
  7. Pour gravy into meat mixture.
  8. And cook all together until you get a nice thick gravy.
  9. In medium skillet with olive oil sauté onions until soft and translucent.
  10. Add mixed vegetables to the onions and cook until warm throughout.
  11. In a 2 quart baking dish, add meat as bottom layer, the add vegetables, and then add the mashed potatoes. Top with Shredded cheese.Cook at 375 for about 20 minutes or until cheese in nice and bubbly





Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The teen months

Emma on her new Anywhere chair

Emma is 15 months old this month. I cannot believe how quickly time has flown. She has grown so much and is doing so many new things now! Yes, I long for the days when she was so tiny she would just lay there and let me hold her, but I love watching her do new things and experience everything. 

Emma's stats: 
Height: 31 1/2" 
Weight: 24 lbs 14 oz. 

Loves: looking through books, Little Einsteins, Princess Sofia, her Belle rag doll, walking around, being tickled by daddy, giving kisses and saying mmm when doing it, taking baths, any pouches that include spinach.

Dislikes: raspberries, sitting still, cow's milk, not being read to

Words she says: Hi, Bye, Puppy(no clue what she is referring to though, we don't have a dog), Teddy(she said this today), Daddy, Pat(it's what The Little Einstein's do), ba ba (when I tell her it's bath time)

Things she does: dances a little bit FINALLY!, chases mommy and/or daddy playing peek a boo, looks at you and laughs when she does a downward facing dog pose, waves all the time, tries to open the doors with keys, gets excited when hearing keys because she thinks she gets to go bye bye too. 




Emma doing what she loves...reading.