Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Into the Crossfire

Lambs. I have so much to update you on, posts in progress, all of it. But first I have a book review for a series and you know I'm such a slut for a series. I cannot even help myself.

Into the Fire - Cindy McDonald
Into the Crossfire (First Force)
It has been four years since ex-Navy SEAL Jack Haliday, had an explosive run-in with a biker gang, wounding their leader, Gunner. During those years, Jack had acquired everything he ever wanted: a beautiful wife, daughter, and a lovely home in the suburbs--everything was just about as perfect as it could get, until Gunner returned to twist Jack's world inside-out with a vengeance that he could never have prepared for. Now Jack has a score to settle and he's got some friends to help him do it.

I'll be honest- I said I would review this because it's the first in a series AND it involves Navy SEAL's. Yum. Double yum. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed at all and it was a great read. I'll also be honest- I thought this was going to be a romance and considering what happens to Jack's wife- it would have been terrible and totally not believable at all. 

And can I just say? I love the characters. I love them all, I love how well Cindy developed them in this story without you thinking, "Oh just shut up already", it's just enough. It sets up the series, it leaves you wondering where the series is going to go, are we just going to focus on Jack, or will we learn more about the other First Force members, or what about Dr. Rayne Lee? I think the second book is set up to be "her" book, but who knows. I thought this was going to be just Jack but the author pulls a little bit of everyone into it. 

Anyways. 

This is basically the story of Jack, who pissed off a really bad guy. He thought after four years he was in the clear but oh no- not even close. I can't tell you the big comeback moment because it ruins a big part of the book. But, BIG THING HAPPENS, and it sets the rest of the characters in motion. Reeling from BIG THING, Jack is injured and damned if he's going to let the bad guy win. But because he's injured others are basically doing the leg work trying to figure out who did it, all of the players involved, and more information on where said players now are. Well bad guys figure out that oh hey- Jack is still alive, so they come after him. Then there is a big deal at the end and along the way we have human trafficking, a bad cop, a doctor who clearly  has some form of PTSD and a little girl. All of that, happening within 360-some pages.

I really loved this book. I am super excited for the rest of the series. This was hard to put down and I finished it in mere hours. Totally worth the wasted weekend afternoon when I should have been baking! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Foreplay

Woo. Grab yourself some batteries and a towel. You'll thank me later, ladies.

Foreplay - Sophie Jordan
Foreplay
Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for, like, ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has the perfect plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom: take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.
Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous and deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as a lesson in attraction is turning both their worlds upside down, and showing them just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real. . . .
Foreplay is the first New Adult novel by Sophie Jordan and Book One in her Ivy Chronicles series.
LAMBS. You know how I tell you when I'm excited I will bounce in my chair? I'm bouncing. I'm on the verge of busting my couch bouncing. 
First off, this is "new adult" and I still don't know what the hell that means. But to me, this is romance. Reece woos her and she doesn't even know it. Pepper is so unrealistic on what she thinks love should be to the point she's denying the spark she clearly feels for Reece. She wants the slow and steady of Hunter but who the hell wants that? I'd take spark and electricity over slow and steady any day. 
I whipped through this book in a matter of hours. I loved the back and forth of Pepper trying to deny what is inevitable. I loved Reece and his damaged soul and I'm a fixer. I pick guys who have issues and I try to fix and Reece is that guy you want to fix. Never mind the whole premise of Reece and Pepper starting out is she wants to get tips on foreplay. Poor girl is a virgin, never even had a boyfriend, so her moron friend tells her to go to a bar and hit on the hottie bartender. So she does and what happens... whoa. 
Let me just say that if mere hours after meeting a guy he takes me to a room to undress? I would die of mortification. Points to Pepper for going forth because I would probably pee. Pee right in front of the hottie bartender like the mess I am. HA! And you know what I thought of? The entire time I'm picture Channing Tatum as Reece and that will never hurt a book. 
Overall? Solid romance. It's the steady, typical story line but it's so good. This would be an absolutely great present for your friend for Christmas. Maybe even tie some batteries to it. 

The Color of Light GIVEAWAY

Oh lovies. I cannot even tell you how much I loved my book. Seriously. Just buy it. Right now.

The Color of Light - Helen Maryles Shankman

NEW YORK CITY, 1992. At the American Academy of Classical Art, popular opinion has it that the school’s handsome and mysterious founder, Raphael Sinclair, is a vampire. It is a rumor Rafe does nothing to dispel.
Scholarship student Tessa Moss has long dreamed of the chance to study at Rafe’s Academy. But she is floundering amidst the ups and downs of a relationship with egotistical art star Lucian Swain. Then, one of Tessa’s sketches catches Rafe’s attention: a drawing of a young woman in 1930s clothing who is covering the eyes of a child. The suitcase at her feet says Wizotsky. Sofia Wizotsky, the love of Rafe’s life, was lost during the Holocaust.
Or was she? Rafe suspects Tessa may be the key to discovering what really happened. As Rafe finds excuses to interact with Tessa, they cannot deny their growing attraction to one another. It is an attraction forbidden by the Academy Board and disapproved of by anyone familiar with Rafe’s playboy reputation and Tessa’s softhearted innocence.
But Tessa senses the truth: despite his wealth, his women, and his townhouse filled with rare and beautiful treasures, Rafe is a haunted man…for reasons that have nothing to do with the rumors they whisper about him at school. Intensely romantic and deeply moving, The Color of Light blends fact and fantasy in an unforgettable tale of art and passion, love and war, guilt and forgiveness, spanning the New York art scene, high-fashion magazine publishing, the glittering café society of pre-World War II Paris, and the evil stalking the back roads of Nazi-occupied Europe.
What can I say? I agreed to review this book solely on the cover. Maybe I shouldn't say that because you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I did because it just pulled at me. Something about this cover moves me. It's haunting, it's lonely, it's romantic, it's wistful, it makes your heart feel. 
Then you read it. I cannot even tell you how much I loved this book. My heart hurts for Rafe. Something about him just pulls at me and it's not his lonely existence as a vampire. It's something else about him and if this were real, I'd be pulled by him. And isn't that what you want for a male lead in a book? 
Admittedly, I don't normally like historical books but this one is lovely. It's so well written, it's so sad and you feel like these people are your family. And let's talk about the art aspect- I don't even appreciate art. I mean, who cares? But I'm reading this book and I find myself getting passionate over a classical art school versus modern crap. I literally couldn't put this book down. This book is almost 600 pages but it could have been a 1000 and I wouldn't have stopped. 
So while we have the art school aspect, and we have the WWII flashbacks and reading about people being massacred, but we have a love story. An incredibly moving and gorgeous love story. You feel the angst, you feel the swell, you feel it all. And Rafe is a vampire. Don't roll your eyes at me- you will love this. He isn't your sparkly vampire, he is your classical vampire. He's what they should be in literature. The realistic fear he puts in others is how it should be. The romance of a vampire is here. It's everything you want. 
I am not even kidding- this book is lovely. I cannot say that enough because that's the adjective that keeps coming to mind when I think of it. I was so worried about the ending but Helen nailed it. She really ended it on such a romantic, fabulous note that you just find yourself hugging the book while simultaneously wishing you had a Rafe. A guy who is so passionate and in love with you that you can barely catch your breathe. I just want Matt to be Rafe. *sigh* I want a guy who will look at me across the room and make me want to drop my panties. I want to feel that electricity by just a squeeze of  my fingers as he walks by. I want people to feel that magnetic presence. Can I just add? Debut novel. This is a debut novel and I can't even handle it. She's so good that I can't imagine her being even better. No pressure, Helen!
Bottom line, you need this book in your life. 
Good news, I have ONE copy to give away. US/Canada only, no PO Boxes, sign yourself up. I will draw a winner on Friday, November 29. Leave a comment below WITH your email address. Share this post on your social media and get yourself an extra entry (leave me the link). 
Check out Helen's website to get your fill in the mean time! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Buried Threads

Full disclosure, this is book 2 in the Threads series and I did not read book 1. I was a little lost in some parts but it wasn't enough for me to put it down and read book one to continue this one.

Buried Threads - Kaylin McFarren
Buried Threads (Threads, #2)
Rachel Lyons and her partner Chase Cohen accept a contract to recover a lost priceless treasure in the Sea of Japan. However, upon arriving in Tokyo, they soon discover their mission is more complicated and dangerous than they originally believed. In order to prevent a natural disaster from striking Japan and killing millions, they must form an alliance with yakuza members, dive into shark-infested waters and recover three ancient cursed swords...before time runs out.

I wasn't sure what to think about this book. Mostly because I didn't realize how much of a Japanese story line there would be and how much culture would be pulled into this book. I'm not a fan of either and there is a lot in this book. So if you like either of those, definitely pick up this book. If you are not, it may be tough for you to get into it. 

Overall the book was good. It's a solid suspense book with a little bit of romance. I wouldn't peg this as a romance but it's more suspense. Also did not know this was the second in the Threads series. I haven't read the first book and I feel like I maybe would have understood Rachel a little bit more? It's certainly not a deal break to jump in with this book though. You won't be lost. 

This book has a LOT of characters though. Not necessarily hard to keep track of them all but I'll be honest, with the clearly Japanese names, I was getting a little confused. The book feels a little like... Tomb Raider? Rachel is clearly a kick ass, strong female lead and she gets it done. I really liked her, I felt like her character was pretty solid. If you like a book that keeps you guessing? This is what you need. Win. 

Overall... I'd be a 2.5 or 3 stars out of 5. While the story is fast paced, it's well written, the characters are good, it didn't grab me to the point where I couldn't put it down. The beginning is a bit slow and it does pick up, but I wished it was a bit faster. I don't know how many of my friends would see this and pick it up and love it. I think my issue was such a rich Japanese story line? It just didn't pull me as I had hoped that it would. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Toilets aren't so awful after all.

Honestly, it does not feel like it's been since August since I last updated you on the toilet situation up in here. And then this one when I made my discovery. But apparently according to Blogger that is the case and for that I apologize.

Which makes it sound like this situation has been corrected for months now and you should all know full well- things don't work fast around here when it comes to projects for Matt. He prefers to call it the "slow and steady" and I call it the "slow and lazy". We agree to disagree. (Though come now, we know I'm right.)

Anyways.

So I'll tell you right off the bat- the toilets are BOTH replaced. Yes, you heard me right- BOTH toilets have been replaced. It came down to me paying off the Home Depot card only to send him to Home Depot to go and get me a toilet. The plan was for us to replace the leaking one upstairs first because leaks outweigh gross any day. I had looked up online how to really clean a tank and so while he did that, I was going to clean the shit out of the weirdo moldy toilet downstairs.

Which ended up being a fail because after scrubbing for almost an hour, as soon as I flushed it, bam- black stuff. I couldn't even tell where it's coming from so it makes me think there is a larger issue at hand than just a moldy inside of the tank. Which prompted me to call Matt, who was still at Home Depot, and tell him to fuck it all- come back with two toilets. That match. Because I can be a wee bit difficult.

The downer is that he ended up getting elongated bowls because he felt like his comfort trumps space, so while it's fine for the upstairs bathroom, it's not really fine for the downstairs bathroom. It just feels like it's taking up far more space than what is needed. Anyways. So he came home and put the new toilet in upstairs. And it went in fine but he had me go to Home Depot to get like shim things.

This makes is sound like we live down the road from Home Depot, which we do not. It's like a 15 minute drive or so without traffic one way. But when he came back I thought it was best to go shopping and not be there to nit pick. Which turned out to be a fail because as I was backing out of my parking spot, and I was in the process of putting my vehicle in drive, an old lady backed into me.

Because of course.

My vehicle really is fine, her bumper corner is totally smashed in. We exchanged info, I called Matt only to get yelled at, and then I came home.

Which is when he told me that one toilet per weekend is all I get.

So I had to wait another full two weeks before the next toilet was installed.

And when that was removed? I cannot even BEGIN to tell you the disgustingness of that wax ring. It was hands down, the grossest thing I've seen. I really should have taken a picture of it because honestly- it was no longer ring shape for one, it was completely black, and it wasn't really the wax rubber material, it was completely broken down. It was basically rotting under the toilet.

GAG.

So the new toilet went in and Jackson supervised the installation of that one. Oh and now I have to totally paint that bathroom (we haven't repainted in there yet) because the tank is smaller than the old one and you can see the old wall paper.

Oh, you read that right. Someone put wall paper in a freaking bathroom.

*face palm*

Needless to say, it's really nice to urinate and know you aren't going to step in your own pee that has leaked out of the toilet. It's also nice to not clean the toilet bowl every other day and have it still not make a difference at all.

Oh! The next issue? The upstairs bathroom. Now, we painted that bathroom soon after we moved in. But what I'm noticing is that the upper part of the wall on the inside of the shower has weird black streaks. Kind of like... you know when a person smokes in their house and when you clean the wall  you get the streaks of nicotine? It's like that, but dark gray/black. You can easily wipe it off and it's fine... but then it comes back a few days later. But it's only near the shower, not the rest of the bathroom. The wall gets moisture, not like water beating on it, but condensation basically, so I don't know if that's it? Who knows.

I can't wait to try to diagram how the electrical works up in here. Let's just say a professional electrician didn't do it. At least we hope not.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Drowning Book Blast

About the Author: 
Rachel Firasek spends her days daydreaming of stories and her nights putting the ideas to ink. She has spent a dull life following the rules, meeting deadlines, and toeing the line, but in her made up worlds, she can let the wild side loose. Her wonderful husband and three children support her love of the written word and only ask for the occasional American Idol or Swamp People quality hour.

She has a philosophy about love. It must devastate or it isn't truly worth loving. She hopes that you all find your devastating love and cling to it with all your heart!
 
Her latest book is the new adult contemporary romance, Drowning. 
Visit her website at www.RachelFirasek.com.
Connect & Socialize with Rachel!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 About the Book:
Title: Drowning
Author: Rachel Firasek
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance


"I dare you." 
Those words would change adrenaline junkie, Alice Harrison's life forever. She's a party girl that doesn't believe in love until she meets a man that only writes about it.
 
Seth James escaped his overbearing father and moved into one of the James family's vacant condos, hoping to create the music he loves in peace. But the fragile calm he's envisioned shatters when a tiny woman with a world full of energy bounces out of the elevator and nearly takes him out.
With the patience of a saint, Seth seeks the dark that keeps Alice from enjoying life. He challenges her to exorcise the demons in her past in order to discover the true meaning of love. But when the walls fall down, the hidden deceptions will bare the ugly truth about a woman drowning in sorrow and a man who may not know how to be her hero.
Purchase your copy at AMAZON.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Excerpt:

He tucks a hand into the waistband of my shorts and drags me into the hall, pulling my door shut behind me. “Where did you get that?” His gaze lingers on the small bump decorating my forehead. 
I reach up and touch the sore knot. “Oh, I fell.” 
“How?” He raises his free hand and traces the swelling. 
I don’t even feel the careful prodding. No, my concentration is solely focused on the fingers tucked inside my shorts and only inches away from becoming way too familiar with me. “Um…I was doing yoga when you guys came down the hall.” 
“And?” He tugs me closer. His thumb rakes a small path below my belly button. 
Oh my. “Uh…I fell out of…of…my pose and banged my head on the floor.” 
His eyes darken and those beautiful lips part. I want to snake my tongue across the bottom one to find out if it is as soft as it looks. 
He winces and lowers his eyes to mine. “So this is my fault?” 
I grab onto his wondering hand and pull it free of my shorts. If I didn’t, I’d be asking him for a wallgasm in less than two minutes. Random teasing and fleeing was a no go for me now. “No. It was an accident. Lighten up, G.” 
“I don’t want to cause you pain.” 
Wow, that feels like a loaded proclamation. “Okay. Well, keep the noise down and we should be good.” 
He drops the hand that had been rubbing away my bruise. Funny, I’d totally forgotten it. “I don’t want to cause you pain. It’s a personal thing.” A deep shudder races over him, and for some reason, I don’t think he is with me anymore. 
“You didn’t. I’m fine.” I lift a hand and cup the side of his face, bringing his gaze to mine. It is the gentlest moment I’ve ever had with a man, and we’ve just met. “I’m not sure what this is, G., but I think I should go inside.” 
He glances down the corridor, takes a deep breath, and nods. “Yes, you should.” 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rafflecopter Code for $25 Amazon Gift Card:


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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins November 5 and ends November 29.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 2, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Forgiving Lies

LAMBS! GET OUT AND BUY THIS BOOK BECAUSE I SAID SO.

And before you're like, "Whoa, Sara- no need to scream at me, dang!", shut up. If we were at lunch and I was telling you about this book I would probably be loud, bounce in my seat and use vibrant hand gestures.

Forgiving Lies - Molly McAdams
Forgiving Lies
The fabulous New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author returns with a sizzling, funny, and deeply emotional tale of passion and secrets, deception and forgiveness
A matter of secrets . . .
Undercover cop Logan “Kash” Ryan can’t afford a distraction like his new neighbor Rachel Masters, even if she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. To catch a serial killer, he needs to stay focused, yet all he can think about is the feisty, long-legged coed whose guarded nature intrigues him.
A matter of lies . . .
Deceived and hurt before, Rachel would rather be a single, crazy cat lady than trust another guy, especially a gorgeous, tattooed bad boy with a Harley, like Kash. But when his liquid-steel eyes meet hers, it takes all of Rachel’s willpower to stop herself from exploring his hot body with her own.
A matter of love . . .
As much as they try to keep it platonic, the friction between them sparks an irresistible heat that soon consumes them. Can Kash keep Rachel’s heart and her life safe even as he risks his own? Will she be able to forgive his lies . . . or will she run when she discovers the dangerous truth?
Let me just get this out there, I love you, Molly. You and me.... we could be friends. I was a Molly virgin but I am not anymore, I am a Molly diehard. Are there fan club shirts? Should I be sporting a shirt? I feel like I'm unprepared and I am sorry for that. But seriously, lambs. LOVED THIS BOOK. (You can't see it, but I'm bouncing in my seat right now). 
Anyways. So this book is just like your typical "new adult" which I think what we're calling romance/thrillers now? Whatever, it's got a thrill to it and it has a romance. You have Rachel, who at the age of 21 she's lost her parents and has clung to her best friend Candice and gone to college. She turns down but begrudgingly decides to go on a date with the guy who she adored as a child and it turns out, he's kind of a psycho. Like right from the word go. Her best friend is kind of a clueless bitch to her when she needs her the most, after a particularly traumatizing event at the hands of this would be Lothario. 
Enter Kash and Mason. Both are undercover police officers sent to Texas to get away from a mess in Florida but also to work a case solving the murders of the Carnation Killer. They end up being Rachel and Candice's neighbors and while Candice and Mason hook up, Kash and Rachel fall in love. 
Then a bunch of CRAZY happens and you know there is betrayal and returned love. Because that's how every romance goes and I love it. But the epilogue? Can we just talk about the epilogue being maybe the best one ever? Well maybe not best ever but it's certainly in the top 10 of making you both saying, "OHMYFUCKINGGOD, WHAT IS HAPPENING?" and "WHERE IS BOOK TWO? Good god, where is book two????". *sigh* There is no book two yet but it had better be coming because what the hell kind of ending is that? And if it hasn't been written yet, I want Candice and Mason to get together because all would be right in my world if that happened. It just would, and if anyone could make that happen, Molly McAdams can. And should. I cannot stress that enough. 
So yes. Get this book, you will not be disappointed. Not at all. Visit Molly's blog, website, Facebook and Twitter too. And if you're like, "Oh, what should I get Sara for Christmas?", um how about every Molly McAdams book, please? Thanks. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Vampire Trilogy: Isle of Undead Book Blast




About the Author: 
N. E. Tovell is an assistant professor of English at a private university in Louisville, Kentucky. A native of Chicago, Illinois, she is a graduate of Southern Illinois University. Her curiosity about the history of vampires has led her travels around the world. This is the third book of her vampire trilogy. 

About the Book: 
Eight years have passed since Galian McDermot moved to Ireland to take his place in the Celtic world as the Tribunal Judicial Officer and King. The unlikely union of Galian and Delbeth has survived all attempts to destroy them. Together, they now live in a converted castle on the Isle of Man that holds their growing family of blended vampires—each with his or her own special faerie gift. 

Galian and Delbeth now have proof that it was Delbeth’s former boyfriend, Johan, who assassinated the old Tribunal. Worse yet, before his death, he recruited other conspirators in South America to carry out his plan for world domination and they are continuing his evil plan to develop his own world order in South America. Unknown to mortals, Delbeth and Galian begin populating the world with their special offspring while others secretly toil to destroy creation. But when Delbeth’s grandfather asks the family to raise two infant faerie girls, they agree, setting off a chain of events that culminates in a final battle where the Celtic plan is finally revealed. 

As their fae spell comes to fruition, Delbeth and Galian bring the world hope as they govern from the Isle of Man and attempt to defend against the forces bent on their destruction. 

Purchase your copy: 

Book Spotlight Cut and Paste (just add cover): 
TitleA Vampire Trilogy Book III: Isle of the Undead AuthorN.E. Tovell Publisher: iUniverse GenreHorror/Thriller Pages244 
 Purchase at iUniverse  

Eight years have passed since Galian McDermot moved to Ireland to take his place in the Celtic world as the Tribunal Judicial Officer and King. The unlikely union of Galian and Delbeth has survived all attempts to destroy them. Together, they now live in a converted castle on the Isle of Man that holds their growing family of blended vampires—each with his or her own special faerie gift. 

Galian and Delbeth now have proof that it was Delbeth’s former boyfriend, Johan, who assassinated the old Tribunal. Worse yet, before his death, he recruited other conspirators in South America to carry out his plan for world domination and they are continuing his evil plan to develop his own world order in South America. Unknown to mortals, Delbeth and Galian begin populating the world with their special offspring while others secretly toil to destroy creation. But when Delbeth’s grandfather asks the family to raise two infant faerie girls, they agree, setting off a chain of events that culminates in a final battle where the Celtic plan is finally revealed. 

As their fae spell comes to fruition, Delbeth and Galian bring the world hope as they govern from the Isle of Man and attempt to defend against the forces bent on their destruction. 

Rafflecopter Code: 

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Crafty while eating macaroni.

Oh lambs, what a weekend. It's been kind of bananas and I still have more to go, but overall it wasn't totally shitastic. Mostly because I did get a lot done despite being exhausted.

I know you don't want to think about it, but it is November and you don't want to wait until the last minute to get your holiday cards! And yes, I'm telling you to not go the route of photo cards because everybody does it. I am telling you to go the route of handmade cards and put a picture in them. Write a hand written note to your friends & family wishing them a Merry Christmas- people really do appreciate that added effort. And lucky for you- I've been a crafty bee this weekend!


Not to mention? I have a bunch of other cards that could be put into stockings, used as teacher/neighbor/friend/coworker gifts, a few finished frames, and one set of ornaments. I am going to make some more ornaments if I have time- so if you are wanting a set of glitter ornaments, send me an email (sarastrand9438 (at) hotmail (dot) com) with how many you'd like and what color you'd like. I can do pretty much any color. Message me soon so I can make sure to get what I need quickly! 

But today wasn't just crafting. Matt started putting up our Christmas house lights because it's easier to do that when it's A) not freezing and B) there is no snow on the ground.

 I did get the stink eye from one neighbor when he saw our icicle lights so I said "ho, ho, ho" to him and he looked horrified. Little does he know how much fucking cheer is going up in my yard this year. Because OH YES, I found the two four foot Santa and Penguin guys I forgot I bought last year. 

WIN. 

Also today I made macaroni & cheese in the crockpot. Which was freaking delicious. I've been making it for awhile but some weekends all you want is something probably terrible for you that tastes super good. Luckily I wasn't a complete pig and I have some to bring to work tomorrow for my lunch. So without further ado, here is the recipe I've tweaked to perfection:

Crock pot Macaroni Deliciousness

1 box (16 oz) of pasta- I use elbow macaroni
1 package (16 oz) of Velveeta 
1 package (16 oz) of Colby Jack chunk cheese (you can use a whole bunch of whatever cheese you want)
1/2 stick of butter
about 1/2 cup of milk
salt/pepper to taste

1. Cook your noodles HALF WAY on the stove. 
2. Spray the hell out of your crock pot. I mean it, get crazy with your spray. 
3. Once your noodles are done, dump those into your crock pot. 
4. Make sure all of your cheese and butter are cubed- dump those into crock pot. 
5. Dump in your milk. 
6. Add your salt/pepper. Or don't. It doesn't matter. 
7. Stir it all up. Get excited. 
8. Cook on LOW for 4 hours. You can stir it half way through if you like. 
9. Try not to eat it all in one sitting. 
10. Or do and just don't tell anyone. 




Friday, November 8, 2013

Maggie's Turn

If ever there was a book that most of you could relate to, it would be this one.

Maggie's Turn - Deanna Lynn Sletten

{Virtual Book Tour} Pump Up Your Book Presents Maggie’s Turn Virtual Book Publicity Tour
Maggie Harrison is a devoted wife and mother, always putting the needs of her family ahead of her own. Then, one day, without planning to, she drives away, leaving behind an indifferent husband and two sulking teenagers. Maggie goes off on a quest of self-exploration, enjoying adventures, meeting new people, and rediscovering her passions. For the first time in years, she dreams about what she wants out of life, and she realizes that her deteriorating marriage can no longer continue as it is. Can she and Andrew repair their floundering relationship, or is their marriage over?
Andrew Harrison likes his life to be in perfect order. He enjoys his work and status in the community, leaving Maggie to take care of everything at home. He knows his marriage isn’t perfect, but after twenty-three years and two kids, whose marriage is? When Maggie leaves without a word, he is forced to start paying more attention to his home life and his almost grown children, and he begins to do a little self-exploration of his own. Slowly, he begins to understand what drove Maggie away, and how important she is in his life. Is it too late to resolve their differences and save their marriage? Or will Andrew lose Maggie forever?
I can tell you right now there have been times on my drive home that I've contemplated on just passing my street and keep going. Fortunately for my family, I'm perpetually broke so I'd maybe make a few miles and then be stuck and need a tow that I cannot afford because you know my ass would run out of gas. 
But that's exactly what Maggie does. In a marriage she isn't sure that will make it, she's unappreciated, she's stressed out, and she's fed up. Without any planning, she decides to not come home after dropping her daughter of for school. Instead, she travels west and with her camera in hand, she starts a journey that is more than just about her- it's about her marriage, her children, the family unit, and her happiness. She meets people along the way that encourage her to do what she's doing. Maggie is hesitant but ultimately continues on in the hopes of finding the person she once was. 
At the same time, her husband Andrew is left picking up the pieces once Maggie is gone. Andrew resents Maggie and feels like this is coming from left field and ignores all of the warning signs. Andrew made a poor choice that put the marriage in jeopardy and doesn't understand how Maggie can't just get over it. In that process, he discovers how out of touch he has been with Maggie as well as their two children, has no idea how to run a household and gets a trial by fire initiation to everything that Maggie does. 
Overall? Good book. I could relate to Maggie and how she feels. Sometimes I wish I had a stash a money where I could just leave it behind for a few weeks and see what Matt thinks about what I do. He'll often remind me I only work part time and he works 70 hours a week. Granted, that's a huge difference but I also do all of the school stuff, kid stuff and most of the house stuff. I'm the one keeping that house running but he doesn't place a value to that. Definitely check this one out- you'll enjoy it.