Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dry Creek Sweethearts Book Review

I get some books from the local library that has a stack of things that don't sell at their book sale and they put them out for the public to take for free and I think that is where I got this paperback that was sitting on my shelf.  Dry Creek Sweethearts (Dry Creek Series #12) (Love Inspired #439) by Janet Tronstad was the next book that I picked up when I ran out of my library book pile so that I would have something light and quick to read.

She could scarcely believe her eyes. An enormous tour bus had arrived in Dry Creek, and from it stepped hometown hero Duane Enger, now a music celebrity. Linda Morgan, owner of the local cafĂ©, had thought her ex-boyfriend had become too famous for the small-town life she loved. But something had pulled Duane back. Maybe he missed a slower, easier life. Maybe he sought to regain his faith. Or maybe it was the girl he'd left behind. Whatever it was, Duane was now finding life in Dry Creek-and Linda—just as intriguing as life in the fast lane. Linda was trying to get over the past and move on and decided that dealing with her past and ex-boyfriend would help her do that.  Find out if it works by checking out this book!

I thought the front looks fun with the milk shakes and the back had a quick review which I might have quickly scanned before picking it up.  I read it not knowing that it was a series of books with other books about the same town until I looked it up on Amazon.  I hope to pick up some of the other books about the Dry Creek town because there were a lot of interesting characters that I am sure are in the other books for me to get to know more!!  This book is a inspirational or Christian book that does talk about finding God but the main part of the story was the relationship between Duane and the town (including his ex, Linda).  The religious aspect was not in the way of the story but helped it to move forward.  It was a good book and I hope that you check it out at your local library or bookstore.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Stitch in Crime Book Review

I signed up for another book to review through the publisher and Litfuse Publishing and I was excited to get another Quilts of Love book.  A Stitch in Crime: Quilts of Love Series by Cathy Elliott came in the mail and I was interested after seeing the cover to find out what it was about.  There was an interesting twist because this book tells us that there is going to be a crime which is different then the other Quilt books that I have read because they are usually just love stories.

Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is knocked unconscious either by someone or falling during the kick-off Quilt Show party, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk which is a horrible stress for Thea who runs a local antique store while trying to pull off the perfect quilt show. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before something else terrible happens is a huge burden but you have to pick up the book to find out what happens next.

I really enjoyed the book and the writing.  At the beginning of the book, I was having trouble figuring out if the book was happening the current day or if it was happening with more of a historic twist (not that it is a bad thing).  It was well into the book before I figured out that it was a current book but the small town attitudes made it seem like it was happening years ago but I guess it could be happening at almost any time which is why it works so well.  Although I wouldn't put this book into the thriller section of mysteries, there was a little intrigue to find out what was going on while learning more about the characters along the way to uncover the truths.  I enjoy the type of mystery that has you wondering but not biting your nails so it was a perfect blend of characters with mystery for me.  I hope that you check this out at your local library or bookstore and see what you think.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!!

** I received this book from Litfuse Publishing for my honest opinion and review

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 1/26

Monday- Tacos and saffron rice
Tuesday- Chicken Wraps with homemade fries
Wednesday- Chicken Stir Fry with snow peas with white rice
Thursday- Salsa Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese
Friday- Breakfast for Dinner or Whole chicken with sides
Saturday- Birthday Party/Leftovers
Sunday- Leftovers/Buffalo Chicken Salad

I realized that I didn't have a plan and it was about time to have a plan or we would be eating out all week.  We are running low in just about everything in the house so I grabbed my menu planning calendar and made a list of all of the things that I needed to get at the store.  I took a trip on Monday to Target, Wegmans and Aldis in order to pick up everything that we needed/wanted before the bad weather hit.  I went a little overboard at Target but I am still spending some of the Christmas gift cards that we got so it is leaving a little extra wiggle room to get things that I normally wouldn't get and get a few deals at Target where I mostly don't shop any more.  I hope that you have a great week and enjoy your meals!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Books to Read for 2015

I set my goal for 2015 to read 100 books.  Now I just need to figure out where to start and what I am going to fill my wonderful reading with.  I made a list of about 60 books to get me started and then I will have all the books that I sign up to review through Litfuse Publishing and Blogging for Books.  Here is hoping that I reach my goal for 2015.  What goals have you set for your new year??

There are a few books that are on my list to read for 2015:

Beverly Lewis

The Postcard
The  Crossroads
Sanctuary (with David Lewis)
The Sunroom

Home to Hickory Hallow
The Fiddler
The Bridesmaid
The Guardian
The Secret Keeper

The Rose Trilogy
The Thorn
The Judgment
The Mercy

Debbie Macomber

Rose Harbor
When First They Met
Lost and Found in Cedar Cove
The Inn at Rose Harbor
Rose Harbor in Bloom

Sheryl Woods

Amazing Gracie (own)
Flamingo Diner
Mending Fences

Chesapeake Shores
The Inn At Eagle Point
Flowers on Main
Harbor Lights
A Chesapeake Shores Christmas
Driftwood Cottage
Moonlight Cove
Beach Lane
An O’Brien Family Christmas
The Summer Garden
A Seaside Christmas


Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Caf​e by Mary Simses
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon   Alexander McCall Smith


Bread Alone by Judi Hendricks
The Cukoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
Ya-Yas in Bloom by Rebecca Wells
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
In The Woods by Tina French
Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger
The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith
Pearl Jinx by Sandra Hill
Tender Triumph by Judith McNaught
Sweet Liar by Jude Deveraux
Dry Creek Sweethearts by Janet Tronstad
Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum
The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans
Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kid Wednesday: 365 Fun-Filled Learning Activities you can do with your child Book Review

I found a bunch of books at the library that I wanted to read about teaching and one of the great ones was 365 Fun-Filled Learning Activities: You Can Do with Your Child by Mary S. Weaver, Weaver.  It included one activity a day to do with your kids.  The ideas are great and super simple to do mostly with things you already have around the house.  Those are the ideas that I love to hear because you can do it no matter how much money you have and your children are more prepared for kindergarten.  If you want to do your own preschool or if you want to supplement what they are already learning, this is the best idea book for you.

The description online is "This title provides learning activities for children to use in the home, including phonics, sets and groups, painting and drawing, and shopping for words."  The book is broken up into sections with language activities, math activities, science activities and physical development activities.  There are great and frugal ideas included in each section of the book to do with different ages and levels.  The page gives you the age and the skills you are using when you do the activity.  There are many great ideas when working with kids that you can incorporate into every day life without the kids even know that they are learning.  This is great for kids at home or preschool environments.

My son is a little old for a lot of the activities (he just turned 6) but we have done quiet a few of them in the previous years and we would have done more if I had read this book at a little earlier.  It is a great book to check out of the library or ask for Christmas because it has so many things in it that you will be able to keep the little ones entertained and learning at the same time.  There are ideas for homemade memory cards, secret messages made with white crayon and revealed with paint, and making letter and number books.  There are tons of ideas that don't take a lot of planning from the parents or special supplies.  If you want an inexpensive option to teach your young children, this book has the answers.  Some of the ages are a little off for my son but I guess it really depends on the level your children are starting from in the different areas.  Some kids pick up quickly on language arts and others on math so you can customize the learning games to the level your child(ren) are at in order.  The best idea is to introduce the idea and see how the kids take to it because you never know unless you try.  The older they get the more complicated that you can make each activity.  I hope that you enjoy all of the fun activities with your little ones!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Allegiant Book Review

The third book in the series was the also the last.  I had only gotten the first two from the library so I had to wait for Allegiant (Divergent Series) by Veronica Roth to come in at the library.  Luckily, it was pretty quickly.  It was a nice break to get in the middle of the series because if I had the book here, I would have picked it up after finishing the last one.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The book picked up where the last one let off with the same group of Allegiant forming to find out what is outside the walls of the city.  The factionless were trying to take over and make sure that there were no more factions.  On the other side, the Allegiant people picked a small group including many former Dauntless faction members because they have the ability to fight and defend the group on the way out of the city.   The group encountered some resistance but they made it out of the city to find out what was outside the gates.  What they found left them more confused then ever and wondering what the right path was for all of them!  I hope that you pick up the series and this book to find out what happened.

It was a great story and a good end to the drama that had me mesmerized from the beginning.  There are ups and downs in the story and you really feel what the characters are feeling because you have been invested since the beginning (with two very long books).  That being said, it was my least favorite book of the series.  It felt like it was trying to be ended instead of coming to a logical ending on its own.  The worst part is this book called into question everything from the first two books with little time to process the information, the characters jumped into action.  Although it is possible that this would happen, the history of the book shows that it takes a little more time for the people to make their decisions.  These rash decisions cause a lot of confusion and chaos but lead to a very different story then the first two books.  I hope that you pick up this series and check it out because it is well worth the read!!

Have you read it?  Did you enjoy the series or one book more then the other?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 1/19

Monday- Breakfast for Dinner- Pancakes and hash browns and Leftover Fried Rice
Tuesday- Olive Oil Pasta or Cheese Ravioli with garlic bread
Wednesday- Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes
Thursday- Chicken Nugget Wraps and homemade fries
Friday- Grilled Cheese and Soup
Saturday- Leftovers/???
Sunday- Leftovers/???

My son started off the week sick.  He woke up in the middle of the night sick to his stomach and woke up every few hours to be sick.  It was a rough night and therefore, I don't really know what we are going to have for the week.  We still have two bags of chicken tenders and two whole chickens in the freezer.  If things start to get better then I will try to cook another whole chicken but if this sickness lasts for a longer time then I know that I won't get the chicken done.  If my husband catches it, then I will be making turkey and rice soup cause he likes soup when he is sick.  Here is hoping that you don't have any winter sicknesses that are putting a wrench in your plans.  I hope that you have a great week and enjoy your meals!!