book · reviews

All the Breaking Waves- book review

I can tell that summer is near, I’m reading more and more. There is something about sitting down and reading while the breeze blows, the birds chirp and the world is warm that just works. Or maybe it’s the fact that life slows down in the summer and you have more time to just sit and read? Who cares what the reason is… it’s summer and that means I’m reading more.

I finished my latest book yesterday. I’m still enjoying reading books that I can get free through Amazon Prime. This time I read All the Breaking Waves: A Novel, by Kerry Lonsdale.

Molly is an art history professor, a jewelry maker and a mother to her eight year old daughter Cassie. But, those are the easy things to understand about Molly. She has a secret or ten that she has kept from the public for years.

Molly lost both her parents on the same day just before graduating from high school. This experience altered her path and choices for the rest or her life, or so she thought. When her daughter Cassie began having premonitions about tragic experiences with her friends, Molly had no choice but to dive back into the life that is her past. Molly packs up her stuff and Cassie and heads back to the house she called home.

Molly never expected to go back to her Nana’s house in Pacific Grove, but she knew that was the best place for Cassie to get the help she needed. While there Molly has to face the many pieces of her past that she walked away from many years before.

I found myself drawn into All the Breaking Waves: A Novel. It was one of those books you knew would have a happy ending, but you keep reading just to make sure you are right. The relationships in this book feel true to life. The questions and challenges that Molly faces may not be the same as other mothers, but I think that most mom’s can relate to the challenges she is facing and the choices she makes. I would highly recommend this book.

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family · life · through my camera lens

A long weekend means working in the house

I can’t believe that this is the first time I’ve picked up my laptop since Saturday, when I wrote my last blog post. We decided to take on the project of putting up the back splash in our kitchen this weekend.

Saturday Colby was at a sleepover. Richard, Blake and I went out for dinner at Burgatory. All three of us got milkshakes as a treat. I had their Fluffer nutter butter Shake (vanilla ice cream, nutter butter cookies, peanut butter and fluff mixed together into a delicious concoction!)

We then headed to Lowes to pick up a few things we needed. I decided to pick up new drawer organizers for my silverware and cooking tool drawers. I love the new bamboo dividers we purchased. (I actually purchased another one on Monday). I now have enough to organize 3 drawers in my kitchen.

We decided to let Blake stay up and watch a movie. Richard suggested Happy Gilmore since Blake keeps talking about wanting to see it, and Colby has shown no interest in it. Blake ended up not feeling well part way through the movie so we never did finish it. Oh well… another time.

Sunday we had already decided to have a quiet morning. It rained over night and was gray and overcast for the beginning of the day. Perfect day for working inside. So Sunday and part of Monday we worked on getting the back splash up. Other than working around the outlets/light switches, it wasn’t too painful.

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We got all the tiles laid out so we could put the sealant on them before putting them up on the wall. Richard set his new wet saw up in the garage and we got to work.

I really like how it is turning out. We did not get around to putting up the grout yet, but all the tile is on the walls now!

The boys are off to school today for their last Tuesday. They have a full day today and tomorrow and a half day on Thursday and then they are off for the summer. It’s been a crazy busy year, but it was all good. Hope you enjoyed your long weekend.

book · reviews

Those Who Save Us- book review

Last night I finished the book Those Who Save Us, by Jenna Blum. I really enjoyed this historical fiction brings the travesties of WWII together with the effect that it had/has on those who lived through it.

Trudy is a History Professor specializing in Germany History. She teaches her students about the women who lived in Germany during the rein of Hitler. What drives her to do this? The search to find the truth about her own past.

Trudie, as she was known as a child, was born in Germany during WWII. Anna, Trudie’s mother, fled from her home when her father found out she was pregnant with Trudie. Anna moved into the local bakery and helped the baker in exchange for room and board for herself and eventually for her daughter Trudie.

Anna makes many choices during the 3 years she in Trudie live together in the bakery. Many of these decisions effect her relationship with her daughter as well as the way she feels about herself. At the end of the war, Anna marries a US soldier and moves to Minnesota.

While growing up Anna tells Trudie that she must forget all she remembers about her time in Germany. Anna will not tell Trudy anything about her past.

Now as an adult Trudy decides to take on a research project through the unversity where she interviews Germans who lived in Germany during World War II. She is searching to find out how they feel about that time and the effect it has had on their lives. Or is what she is really searching for the truth about her own past?

This book was very moving. There were many times where I had to put it down and others I didn’t want to put it down. The interviews that are accounted in the story show such diverse stories of how the people in Germany got by during this difficult time in history.

If you enjoy historical fiction about World War II, as well as gaining a better understanding of mother/daughter relationships, I encourage you to check out Those Who Save Us

 

**this post contains associate links, please read my disclosure statement**

book · life · reviews · Uncategorized

Beach Rental book review and rambles

Happy Friday Eve!

This has been such a strange week for me. I posted a bit about it yesterday. On top of all the crazy busy of the boys’ schedules, Richard had 2 days of meetings. For his job when they have these big meetings where people travel in from other states it means full days of meetings followed up by dinner and/or drinks. This means he leaves the house at 7:20am to drive the boys to the bus stop and then didn’t arrive home until around 10pm. I’m not sure how he does it! At least it’s done now, and everything went as smoothly as he hoped it would.

I just finished reading another book on my Kindle Paperwhite E-reader . One of the biggest perks of reading on the Kindle is the free books I can get with out prime membership. On Monday, I posted about Coming to Rosemont: The First Novel in the Rosemont Series which I also got for free. I guess this is another bonus to having a prime membership even if the price is going up! I love the free shipping, we have a Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player which is ALWAYS on playing music in the background of our life. I had to laugh yesterday listening to the boys request music on Alexa, we went from We Didn’t Start the Fire to Laughter In The Rain then Wake Me up Before You Go-Go. My sons have always had an eclectic variety of music they listen to, but it just seems to shine through more lately. Some of their favorite stations to listen to are Pop For Cooking, ’70s Light Pop Perfection, ’80s Pop for Runners and those are just a few that they pick. I find it crazy that they know the names of the songs as well as who sings the song. Me, well I could sing the whole song for you but couldn’t fathom to tell you the facts about the song. Oh well, guess I’ll never go on a music game show, but they can!

Today I finished reading Beach Rental (Large Print) (Emerald Isle, NC Stories) (Volume 1), but Grace Greene. I felt like I read this book really fast, but that maybe because I’m finally back to only reading one book at a time. I read all three of the Harry Potter books one after the other and then I was reading a book and an e-book at the same time while adjusting to reading on the Kindle. Beach Rental was the first book in forever that I read both during the day and at night. So I felt like I flew through the book. I was able to get this book free through my prime membership, notice a trend her?

Juli Cooke’s life has never been easy. She bounced around in the foster care system as a child and has worked hard as an adult to keep her nose clean and a roof over her head. She works at a grocery store during the day and picks up jobs with caters at night for extra cash.

One night while working as a server for a lavish party, her life takes a very unexpected twist. She meets Ben Bradshaw at that party and he turns her life on its ear with the proposal of marriage. Ben is dying and realizes he wants someone in his life to keep him company. He offers Juli a financial freedom for her friendship, that may or may not turn into more over time. Juli agrees with this arrangement, but finds more opposition from Ben’s family than she was prepared to deal with. Ben’s cousin and business partner Luke, noticed Juli at the same party and had a preconceived notion of who she was and what her motives really were. When Ben’s sudden death changes everything, Juli and Luke are forced to work together to settle the estate and so much more.

Read what happens in this unique love story that shows that often times love pops up in the most unusual places.

** This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement**

book · reviews

The Night The Lights Went Out– Book review

What’s better than one book review in a day???? How about two? Click here to see the first one I did today!

I finished the book I was reading upstairs this week too. The Night the Lights Went Out, by Karen White is a contemporary novel. I love the description on the back of the book that says “…. it touches all the bases of a chick-lit thriller…”

This is the story of Merilee who is recently divorced who moves into Sweet Apple, Georgia. There she rents a house on the property of Sugar Prescott, the towns matriarch. Sugar is known to be aloof and a bit odd, but she hits it off with Merilee. Sugar sees a lot of herself in Merilee and begins to open up and share stores with her that she has not shared with anyone.

Merilee’s children are attending a private school, where Merilee meets Heather the queen bee of the community. Heather brings Merilee into her circle and encourages her daughter to befriend Lily, Merilee’s daughter.

As the story progresses, Merilee finds out that a blogger from the town is writing about not only the town and southern sayings, but also about Merilee and her life. She doesn’t know how to feel about this but since she is trying to keep her head above water and deal with all the drama of life.

As you read through the story, you hear more about the drama of Sugar’s life of the past. You read the many blog posts that show a different side of small town drama anddddd the real dramas of a small town. There is so much more to share, but I can’t without telling you too much.

I highly recommend this book. It is a perfect summer read. It is the type of book that keeps you thinking and makes you want to not put down the book. Read and find out what happens The Night the Lights Went Out.

** Product links included, please read my disclosure statement**

book · reviews

Coming to Rosemont- book review


The first book I read on my Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers was Coming to Rosemont: The First Novel in the Rosemont Series, by Barbara Hinske.

Maggie Martin’s husband dies suddenly, but this was just the beginning of the changes in her life. Upon his death Maggie discovers that the life she was living the last few years was not the life she wanted to live. After discovering that her husband was involved in a variety of elicit activities she also discovers that he inherited a house in the serene Mid-Western town of Westbury.

Maggie headed to Westbury to meet with a real estate agent to put the house, known as Rosemont for sale. When Maggie arrives there she discovers more that just a house. She finds home. Maggie then decides to sell her house in CA and move to Westbury.  What she doesn’t know is that this quiet majestic town has a secret or two of its own.

This is a great fast paced novel that is realistic and modern. It is a great story about a strong female who learns so much more about herself and what she is capable of doing. This is also the first book in series, so if you are like me and hate when a book ends… then this is a great book because you can read more in the second book: Weaving the Strands: The Second Novel in the Rosemont Series. I know I will.

**This post contains product links, please read my disclosure statement**

Must Have Monday · reviews

Must Have Monday- Water

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If you ask my kids what I drink they will probably say Coke or Coffee, but the funny thing about that is I don’t drink either of those very often. I have had one cup of coffee every morning, or almost every morning since we got our Keurig. I don’t drink Coke very often either. Richard and I will split a Coke when we go out to eat. I do drink Coke whenever I have a headache. Whenever I get a headache I first drink a coke, then I grab Excedrin (which also has caffeine in it). This works almost every time for me now. I started that when I was having migraines and was trying to avoid taking the prescription medications. The doctor I had at the time suggested Excedrin and said just get extra strength, it has the same ingredients as the migraine version.

Ok…. back on topic. So the what do I actually drink the most of… WATER! I drink water all day long. So over the years I have has a large variety of different water containment devices. Here are a few of my favorites.

At home, I love having my BEAST!  BEAST 30oz Stainless Steel Tumbler Vacuum Insulated Rambler Coffee Cup Double Wall Travel Flask Mug with Splash Proof Lid, 2 Straws, Pipe Brush & Gift Box Bundle By Greens Steel. This double walled medal water cup, with straw works perfectly for me as I spend my day around the house. I fill it up with ice and water first thing in the morning. Then as the day goes on I only need to add more water to the cup. This stays ice cold all day long. There are many days when the ice is still there the next morning. I also like the size. Think about it, three fills equals 90oz of water! I don’t like to travel with this cup because of the size and if you knock it over by mistake the water will spill.

For traveling about, and going to the gym I use my Brita 20 Ounce Sport Water Bottle with 2 Filters – BPA Free – Twin Pack, Blue and Orange. We purchased these originally before our first Disney Cruise. The thought behind it was that we could always create filtered water no matter where we were going.  On that trip we got off the ship in Nassau and didn’t want to drink the water when we were on that island. After that, the boys and I began taking these to school because we could refill them in the school sinks and not drink school sink water. Anyone who has been to an elementary school knows the sinks have a level of funk no matter what you do. I take mine with me when I hike and go to the gym. Now I typically do not put ice in this because it is not insulated and will sweat. But, as I mentioned it has a filter that I like, but it also is spill proof which is why send it with the boys to school. It has a pop up top which is pretty easy to open and close, but for the most part you need to squeeze it to get the water out.

As I mentioned last week, we have two types of water containment devices for biking. All four of us have CamelBak Rogue Crux Reservoir Hydration Pack, Black/Graphite, 2.5 L/85 oz as well as CamelBak Podium Chill Insulated Water Bottle, Periwinkle, 21 oz Fill the pack up with ice and then add in the water. It will stay cold while you drink and bike or hike. I have often seen people have these at Disney as well. The water bottle is contoured to fit safely into the cage on the bike and not slip and slide while you ride. The ones I just got for the boys are insulated and which will help them stay cold longer. One thing to be aware of when using the pack is when you aren’t wearing it make sure the pack it NOT sitting on it’s bite valve. I can not tell you how many times we have put the down and found a puddle later (in the car, in the truck, on the ground, or even the kitchen counter). The water bottle has a twist close top, but just like the Brita bottles they don’t really leak even when open since you need to squeeze it.

Richard has two different water cups that he likes to use. He has a Tervis 1228352 UCF Knights Pregame Prep Tumbler with Wrap and Black Lid 16oz, ClearHe takes water with him to drink on his drive into work every day and then refills the cup with bottle water from work to drink on his drive home. The Tervis Tumbler he uses during the cooler months. He also has a YETI Rambler 20 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler w/ MagSlider Lid, Black. This one he is using now because the water will stay colder and the ice will last beyond his morning drive. These fit perfectly into the cup holders in the truck.

Here you go… my must have for drinking water. Well I need to go refill “The BEAST” and keep drinking water. Do share… what is your favorite water containment device? You never know when I need to find another one.

** post contains product links. please read my disclosure statement.**

family · life · through my camera lens

Happy Easter Fools Day!

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The funny bunny arrived at our house. The boys found their first eggs on their chair at the kitchen table, and  the start of the hunt. Each egg sends them to the next location. On Colby’s third location he found his basket, normally this is the end of the hunt, but not this year. It was located in the pots and pans cabinet and there was a pot inside the basket with another egg. The bunny said “Happy Easter Fools Day, you aren’t done hunting yet.” This then sent him to his next location. Blake found a similar egg in his basket at his fourth location, which was in “the bathroom that isn’t”, we have the rough plumbing for a bathroom in our basement.

I guess that funny bunny decided that since Easter fell on April Fools day he needed to play a joke on the boys. They did finally find all their Easter goodies hidden (Colby’s with his Traxxas truck and Blake with his lunch box).

In their basket ummm pile they each got a book, a Raspberry Pi, Lego Dimensions extension packs, and a new card game. Colby also got a carrot filled with reese pieces and Blake got Dove chocolate bunny ears. We have already played both card games, they are a lot of fun and I’ll review them later this week. Blake already read the book from Colby’s basket and has almost finished the one from his basket as well.

After that was done, we had scramblers for brunch. I made pepper and onion scramblers with cheddar cheese. Richard made bacon to have with them. Richard and I decided to have breakfast sandwiches and put all that yummy goodness on a croissant. (sorry I didn’t take a picture before diving into it).

For “linner” we are having ham, Cheesy au Gratin Potatoes, salad and homemade rolls. I’m in the process of making this. I am trying another new roll recipe, but I think I messed it up this time. I don’t think the water I used was hot enough, which means it didn’t allow the yeast to bloom enough. They turned out ok, they aren’t as fluffy as I’d like, but they aren’t rock hard which is a good thing. So we will eat them, but next time I will certainly make sure I use hot water.

I hope the funny bunny was good to you and didn’t play too many April Fools day jokes.

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This post contains links to products that can be found on Amazon. If you wish, you can click on these links. I will get compensation for any purchases made through the links. I hope to be able to monetize my blog in order to pay for my blog fees for next year! Please read my disclosure statement.