Friday, June 15, 2018

100 days of real food

100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love by Lisa Leake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So this is on sale right now for kindle for $1.99 & I do recommend it for that price.
It is full of helpful hints & some insight on why this family decided to give up all processed foods & go for REAL foods & how it changed their thinking on nutrition & how it effected their health.
I do enjoy the tips & tricks in this book & the recipes are totally ones that I will be checking out (all the meat-free ones, that is) - saying that - this is NOT a vegan or vegetarian book. It's a book about eating real food so if you are a meat eater, you will still enjoy this book.
I especially for the weekly challenges to help you ease into this thinking. 12 weeks with a different challenge that when broken down, doesnt seem so unobtainable. I'm going to be starting with week 1 soon.
On the down side for me - which may be an upside for many - a lot of this book is dedicated to making changes for kids. How to incorporate this thinking for children & how to involve them in the process. I'm sure most moms would appreciate this big part of the book - for me, it just was something I skimmed.
But y'all - for $1.99 - get it right now just for some of the great recipes & the tips & tricks!!!

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

It Ends with Us

It Ends with UsIt Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so emotionally vested in this book. It wasn't what I was expecting & I didnt realize the topic this book was going to take but man, it held me in. I was rooting for each person in their own way - to be stronger, to get help, to get better, to walk away, to stay... what a wonderfully written book this was. Completely grabbed me in. & I loved the history in the story of Atlas & Lily growing up & reading her journals from being a teenager. I really am glad I finally got around to this book. What a insightful look inside of domestic abuse. Loved reading the epilogue as well to find out more about the story behind the book. Makes it even more powerful to me.


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Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Arrogant Devil

Arrogant DevilArrogant Devil by R.S. Grey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyed the lighthearted reading...enjoyed The Belle & the Beau a little better, but still enjoyed this one. Felt like it could have had a little bit more story regarding the abusive husband, but then it might not have been as light & easy to read. I did enjoy the epilogue as well for a good summary ending so I can leave my characters knowing where the path laid out for them. & I think everyone needs a grandma Edith in their life.

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Everyone in Cedar Creek, Texas, knows Jack McNight is an arrogant devil. Physically, I get it: he’s tan and fit, with coal-black hair that’s clearly been scorched by hellfire. Oh, and his personality? It burns just as hot.

When I show up on the doorstep of Blue Stone Ranch, I’m run-down and rockin’ my last pair of underwear. I’m hoping for a savior, but instead, I find him.

My opinion of Jack is marred by a dismal first impression, but his opinion of me is tainted even before I arrive. He’s heard I’m a spoiled princess there to take advantage of his goodwill. To him, I’m more trouble than I’m worth.

Our button-pushing banter should get under my skin. His arrogance should be a major turn-off. Problem is, devils are known to offer their own form of temptation.

Every one of his steely glares sends a shiver down my spine.

Every steamy encounter leaves me reeling.

Sure, it could be the Texas heat messing with my head, but there’s no way I’ll survive the summer without silencing him with a kiss and wrestling him out of those Wranglers.

Who knows…going to bed with the devil might just be the salvation I’ve been looking for all along.
 

Friday, May 11, 2018

One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is LyingOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just devoured this book. So anxious to see what the real story was behind a guy dying after a group of teens were in detention together. The story held me to the very end. I just for some reason envisioned these kids as the gang from Riverdale - I mean, someone died, so it fits. It's like a Breakfast Club meets Riverdale meets Dateline Mystery. I just loved seeing the characters evolve into their true selves & developing relationships together & seeing how they handled themselves when their truth they tried to keep secret came to light. I also was taken back by surprises & twists in the book & in the end, I didn't figure out the mystery of it all, which makes me like a book even more. I also feel like the end was summed up pretty well giving me a 'tied in a bow' ending I feel like I can leave all the characters behind in. This totally could be a movie... or at least a season on Riverdale :)

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Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose? 
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them."

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Last To Let Go

The Last to Let GoThe Last to Let Go by Amber Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting story of how a family deals with abuse & the after effects of a mom who no longer can take the abuse. You root for the 3 kids who are left behind & handle the situation so differently. I felt like something was missing in the story, like it didn't connect fully with me, but I still got through it fast as I was anxious to see how it would all turn out.

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A twisted tragedy leaves Brooke and her siblings on their own in this provocative new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used To Be.

How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.

But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Far From the Tree

Far from the TreeFar from the Tree by Robin Benway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fast read for me & I just enjoyed seeing the stories of these 3 siblings come together to find more of what connects them but each in their own world.

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A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.
 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in CrisisHillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I keep seeing everyone reading this & giving amazing reviews.... & the whole time I'm reading this, i'm like, "I dont get it". To me, it was boring & ordinary & nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering. Maybe because it just felt like reading a lot of my own family history? Mamaw & Papaw in this book sounded exactly like my own grandparents, some of the relatives in the book sounds just like my own family & the situations that I read in reviews that people are in shock about, just sounds like ordinary life. I mean, I do live in Kentucky but never considered our family "Hillbilly"... maybe I need to rethink that.


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From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.

Vance’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love.” They got married and moved north from Kentucky to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. Their grandchild (the author) graduated from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving upward mobility for their family. But Vance cautions that is only the short version. The slightly longer version is that his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and mother struggled to varying degrees with the demands of their new middle class life and they, and Vance himself, still carry around the demons of their chaotic family history.

Delving into his own personal story and drawing on a wide array of sociological studies, Vance takes us deep into working class life in the Appalachian region. This demographic of our country has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, and Vance provides a searching and clear-eyed attempt to understand when and how “hillbillies” lost faith in any hope of upward mobility, and in opportunities to come.

At times funny, disturbing, and deeply moving, this is a family history that is also a troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large portion of this country.