Friday, April 28, 2017

Talking As Fast As I Can Book Review

I was excited to see that Lauren Graham had a book out when I was looking at the library new order section so I quickly reserved it.  Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham had a long list of other people who wanted to read it before the library even ordered it.  I was super excited to get it on my reserve shelf and knew that I needed to finish it before the due date because there was no chance to renew with this many people who wanted it.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

I hope that you check out this book if you are a fan of the show Gilmore Girls or have interest in Lauren Graham.  It started off quickly like you were having a conversation with her and it is super amusing.  I couldn't help but laugh out loud at her comments and other things because it is so much like her character on Gilmore Girls and Parenthood.  The whole book was amusing stories from her life from being single to dealing with Hollywood.  She also gave a journal while she was filming the new Gilmore Girls series which was very interesting.  I hope that you check out this book which is actually written by Lauren Graham and not some confusing book written by someone else because here is the funny part, she went school for English and she was planning on being a writer first.  There are fun stories and I think that you should pick up this book to find out for yourself.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Snowfall on Haven Point Book Review

I was excited to start Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne right after finishing the last book in the series.  It is my favorite thing to read series in order and get to read lots so that I don't have to wait but sadly (and not so sadly) this book series is still being published so I am trying to be patient.  The great thing is that I saw both of these books at the same time so I got to read them in quick succession!!

There's no place like Haven Point for the holidays, where the snow conspires to bring two wary hearts together for a Christmas to remember  It's been two rough years since Andrea Montgomery lost her husband, and all she wants is for her children to enjoy their first Christmas in Haven Point. But then Andie's friend asks a favor—to keep an eye on her brother, Sheriff Marshall Bailey, who's recovering from a hit and run. Andie will do anything for Wyn, even park her own misgivings to check on her grouchy, wounded bear of a brother.  Marshall hates feeling defenseless and resents the protective impulses that Andie brings out in him. But when a blizzard forces them together for the holidays, something in Marshall begins to thaw. Andie's gentle nature is a salve, and her kids' excitement for the holidays makes him forget why he never wanted a family. If only he and Andie can admit what they really want—each other—their Christmas wishes might come true after all.

This book was a wonderful holiday book which I always enjoy. There was lots of snow falling and we got to see the Christmas lights parade again like was in one of the previous books.  I liked meeting Marshall who is another of the Bailey family and also in law enforcement.  It was a great book to follow right after the last because it was about one of the families that we meet in the last book!!  Andie was doing a favor for Wyn by looking in on her brother Marshall after he had surgery on his leg. Marshall didn't want to accept help so he was not friendly towards Andie and her two children because he was sick of being helpless.  Through their time together they built a friendship and you have to read the book for yourself to find out what happens. I hope that you enjoy this book and the rest of the great series!!  I can't wait for the next book and it says that there might be two more books coming in this series so I am super excited!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Riverbend Road Book Review

I was excited to find out that there was a new book in the Haven Point series out!  Riverbend Road: A Second-Chance Romance novel (Haven Point) by RaeAnne Thayne was the next book in my reading pile from the library.  I was excited to get back to the great characters and wonderful little town of Haven Point and this was no different.

Return to Haven Point, where New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne proves there's no sweeter place to fall in love… 
Protecting the streets of Haven Point isn't just a job for police officer Wyn Bailey, it's a family tradition. But lately she's found herself wanting more, especially from her boss—and overprotective brother's best friend—sexy chief of police, Cade Emmett. The only problem is getting Cade to view her as more than just a little sister.
Cade's hands-off approach with Wyn isn't from lack of attraction. But his complicated past has forced him to conceal his desire. When Wyn is harmed in the line of duty, Cade realizes the depth of his feelings, but can he let his guard down long enough to embrace the love he secretly craves?

This book was great because I got to meet Wyn Bailey who I think that I briefly met in other books.  It is the same great small town from the other books where she is working as a police officer.  There is a lot learned about her family and the death of her twin and father.  She is a person who likes to help other people and works with the helping hands to provide food to neighbors and raise money for the library.  She is still feeling like she in lonely because she isn't in a relationship.  She tries to fill her life with lots of other things but she is still looking for more of a purpose.  She has feelings for her boss so she decides that she wants to quit her job and move out of the small town so that she doesn't act on her feelings but you have to find out what happens with that by reading the book.  I hope that you check out this book and the rest of the series because I think that you will enjoy it as much as I did.  I love this small town and enjoyed the other books in the series so I knew that I was excited when I saw this new book out and reserved it immediately!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 4/24

Monday- Grilled Chicken with white rice
Tuesday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken and homemade fries
Wednesday- Pasta with leftover pizza bites
Friday- Leftover Nights
Saturday-Eating Out
Sunday- Paninis or leftovers

Last week actually went mostly according to plan which is kind of crazy after being away for a week.  I was a little slow at taking the food out to defrost but the great thing was that I just switched two nights if they weren't defrosted and things went well.  Over the weekend, we did breakfast for dinner with eggs and hashbrowns on Saturday night and Pizza Bites and Mac and Cheese on Sunday. 

I had to spring into action to try to get food in the house which was off to a slow start since we needed milk.  I made rolls early in the week for my husband's lunch and then nothing else until the weekend.  I made chocolate chip cookies, sandwich bread and blackberry muffins on Saturday.  On Sunday, I made peanut butter cookies, cinnamon rolls and pizza bites.  It too a little effort and a lot of dishes but we now have some food in the house.  My husband also made a quick trip to the dump to get rid of some wood in the back yard from the previous owners and picked up mulch.  I asked while he was out there if he could stop at Wegman's and get some things.  Even though he knew it was going to be the busy weekend time, he still went and got chicken, ground beef and mac and cheese so we are going to be all set for another month with meat for sure!!  Now I just have to freeze everything in the portions that we are going to eat them in and make some salsa sloppy joes for the freezer.

We are going with our new schedule this week with grilled chicken on Monday (because the weather is hopefully perfect for grilling), my son's favorite dinner Tuesday (because there is no soccer practice), Pasta on Wednesday (for early soccer practice day), Thursday is Tacos using ground beef, Friday is leftovers and the weekend follows our crazy schedule.  I hope that you have a tasty week and enjoy some yummy meals too!!

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Fragile Hope Book Review

I got a chance to read A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti which was great because I read previous books by the author so I was excited to read more.  I thought this was part of a series with the other books but I think that I was wrong although not disappointed.  I couldn't remember which books but I knew that I wanted to read the next book in the series but I guess I have to keep waiting for those.  Super exciting to get to keep up the any new author I like when the books are first released.  I am usually not on top of these things so well.

Josiah Chamberlain's life's work revolves around repairing other people's marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife's unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she's unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.

Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

This book was super sad and there was some tears but I still had trouble putting the book down which was a great thing.  It took me a little longer to read just because it was so emotional but I got it done just in time for the review date (although I like to have things done a little sooner...better late then never).  Almost the entire book is about Karin who we don't even get to talk to in the book but we follow her husband through his changes in his outlook.  Josiah is working as a writer and very absorbed into his work writing books about saving marriages and what you need to do to make them work.  The craziest thing is that without him know, his marriage has gone off the rails.  He finds out more about his wife when she is in a car accident and stuck in the hospital.  This book as an unreal quality to it that you totally relate to Josiah because he is working as hard as he can to find the new normal.  Anyone who has ever sat by a loved ones bedside, knows that the days seem to take so long and go by so fast.  This book could have covered a year or more and then towards the end you find out that it has been 4 months and although it is a long time, it certainly seems like it went slowly.  I know that I was hooked on the book to find out what was going to happen next and find out how Josiah would react.  This is super helpful to making the best out of each day and getting a message of hope.  I hope that you check out this book and enjoy them as much as I have.

**I was given a copy of this book to read and review but all opinions here are my own.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Any Man of Mine Book Review

I don't know how I got this book but I reserved it at the library so I read it when it came in.  Any Man of Mine (Larger Print Love Inspired #355) by Carolyne Aarsen was waiting on the reserve shelf.  I must have read something by her previously and liked it.  I was excited to have this book to read on my vacation and it was near the last book in the pile.  I need more library books to continue reading!

Living with three brothers has taught me what I don't want in a husband. "Guys" who can only converse about farming, welding and hockey won't cut it. And those who prefer a rodeo to a symphony or dusty jeans to a nice suit are not for me. Unfortunately, my hometown is full of guys just like my brothers. So I've been planning to move to the city for a fresh start. But now I'm having second thoughts. There's a new man in town…a churchgoer who's cultured, wears suits and, most important, is nothing like my brothers.

I looked for a description or summary of the book all over the internet and there were a ton of places and some even had the wrong description.  I am not sure if it is just because it is an older book which looks to be out of print but the descriptions were nothing like the book that I read.  Danielle Hemstead has been living her dad and three brothers for so long and is sick of taking care of them.  She works as a social worker where her boss dumps everything on her which she is also sick of.  She decides that she wants a new job in a new city so that she can start over and make her own life.  It was nice to see Danielle go after her dreams and put lots of plans in action in order to get her dreams to come true.  I enjoyed watching her life in the small town of Preston with her brothers and dad and her best friend Tracy.  There are lots and twists and turns so the book never turns out the way you expect.  I hope that you check out this book at your local library or bookstore and see for yourself.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Middle of the Month Shopping Update for April

I was not doing the best keeping track of our spending this month because we were on vacation for a little bit over Spring Break so I thought we were doing pretty well but things got away from me quickly.  The great part is that we are halfway through the month so it isn't horrible but here is what I spent and what I got.

Target $32.65

I went to the store to pick up a few things for my son's easter basket including jelly beans, chocolate bunny, toys and I put some of his vitamins in the cart to because they were on sale and their was a cartwheel.  I wasn't sure what I got when I looked at the total later but I put a bunch of things in the cart without coupons!!  UGH!!  I also didn't even take a picture but I bought an incredibly overpriced chocolate bunny that I knew he wouldn't eat and it melted before Easter :(

Rite Aid $7.49

I went to the store to get some medicine for my son because he was sick while we were away.  This helped get rid of some of the snot..YUCK!

Wegman's $17.10

My husband took my son and cousin to Wegman's to get breakfast and some other treats.  I don't even know what they got but I sent them with a coupon for a free case of soda and I know that they came home with Gatorade too.  I am sure it could have been worse....shown by my Target trip :)

Aldi $2.04

We went away for vacation and came back to really yucky milk.  I dumped it out and went to the store and grabbed only milk which I was thinking was the first purchase of the month.... was I mistaken or what?!

 Total OOP $59.28

I still have $100 left for the month so there is a lot of spending left and lots of thing already in the fridge, freezer and pantry so still hoping to be under budget for the month.  

How is your month going??  Do things like holidays and vacation send you off budget quickly like it does me?  My husband likes to say that we should be able to get it because we are on vacation but without a little control, we can't afford the vacation expenses.  I am quick to fall into the same thing a few times especially when I haven't planned as much ahead as I should of!!  We deserve to have special treats but my husband and son took a little advantage of me this week but luckily we are getting back on track now that we are home...hopefully I will catch up around the house too!