Friday, May 19, 2017

True to You Book Review

I read other books by Becky Wade which I couldn't remember when I got the chance to read True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance) by Becky Wade.  I was excited to get to reading this book but when it got to my door step, I was a little confused because I thought that this was another book that was a historical fiction book.  I guess the settling and dress on the cover got me confused but after reading the book, it was a perfect cover and perfect depiction of the novel.

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.  Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.  The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

I really enjoyed reading this book and my family gave me a special treat to be able to sit around all day and read my book for mother's day.  I started it in the morning and read it most of the day but enjoyed every minute of it.  Nora was stuck in the past and not moving forward with her life until she was carried out of a fake hostage situation by John.  John calls Nora so that he can look into his ancestry which is her specialty.  This book was filled with twists that I didn't see coming but you should totally check out this amazing story but be prepared with a few tissues because you might need them.  This friendship is really put to the test through many shocking things revealed in the book.  There was a little too much focus on trusting in God at the end of the book instead of just making the statement once but it didn't take away a lot from the whole story but just stopped the fast pace the story had been following until then.  I hope that you check out this great start to a new series.  I can't wait to read the others in the series.  I hope that you check them out as well!

**I was given a copy of my review but all opinions here are honest and my own.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

If Not For You Book Review

I picked this up from my library reserve shelf and was I excited to get to reading it.   If Not for You: A Novel by Debbie Macomber had a long list and took awhile to come out and even longer for me to move to the top of the list.  Again, knowing nothing about it, I wasn't sure what to expect and didn't even know that it was part of a series or not.  I figured that if it was part of a series that I might have read the others so I should be good to go with this new release.  I was exhausted. 

If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she’s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not—and her parents’ worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who’s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn’t exactly Sam’s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either.

But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam—who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived—Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital—even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both.

Before long, Beth’s strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam’s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she’s come to love.

It was a great book that I couldn't stop reading.  I started in the morning and was done before dinnertime.  I thought that it was a great story and even though there were some tough points that had me in tears, it was a great and uplifting story with great characters.  Beth is trying to start her life over in this small Oregon town where her aunt lives.  She gets involved in the school where she is teaching and starts meeting some friends.  She goes on a blind date with Sam who she is not interested in until there is a life changing accident right after dinner.  Beth's life charges forever and you have to pick up the book to find out how much.  I hope that there are other books that might follow because there were some great characters and wonderful writing that I would love to have more of.  I hope that you check out this book and see for yourself.  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I have.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mending Fences Book Review

I reserved this book on the library new releases and I was excited when it came on to the shelf for me to read.  Mending Fences by Sherryl Woods was one that I didn't read anything about the book before I reserved it.  I just picked an author that I have read a lot of so I knew nothing about what it was going to be about so it was a big surprise when I started.

For ten years Emily Dobbs and Marcie Carter have been the closest of friends. They've raised their kids together, shared joy and heartache, exchanged neighborhood gossip over tea. But when Marcie's son, now a college freshman sports star, is arrested for date rape, the bond between the families could be shattered forever.  As the Carters try to deal with the unthinkable, Emily discovers her daughter has been hiding a terrible secret…a secret that threatens the futures of both families. Recently divorced, Emily struggles to keep it all together—to support her terrified daughter, to maintain her friendship with Evan's mother and to have faith in the detective who could change all of their lives.
When things seem darkest, both she and Marcie discover that sometimes the first step toward a better future is mending fences with the past.

This book was a rough read!!  Most of the books by Sherryl Woods have been really good beach reads but this book was much tougher topic.  The book was immediately into dealing with very adult topics like rape and crimes.  I wasn't expecting it but once I was into the book, I couldn't put it down.  I was ready to find out what else was going to happen.  Emily's family is going through just as much as Marcie's family with all of the police coverage but you have to pick up the book to find out how much they are both deeply changed by the experience.  I hope that you check out this book as long as you are ready for the heavy subject matter.  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Check out other books by this great author to meet lots of her great characters.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Middle of the Month May Shopping Update

I can't believe that it is already the middle  of the month but I know that I went a little crazy this month with purchases....especially after the last trip to Harris Teeter.  There was a coupon to get $5 off $50 purchased and Cranberry Juice and Granola Bars were on sale so we added the toilet paper deal which ended up making everything cheaper because of the coupon.

Here is what I got so far for the month and what I have spent.  I don't think that I did too badly but I certainly did go a little over my halfway mark for the month in spending.  I budget $160.00 for groceries for my family of 3 for groceries and all household goods.  We do a good job of coming under it most months and have been under every year since I started this process.  My notebook that I am currently using started in 2013 and tracks each month and year since then and what I spent what stores I spent it at.  It is helpful for me to track my spending and report here to keep me accountable.

Aldi $5.29

I went to get chips and salsa because my son decided that he liked them so we went through all the stuff that we had in the house and my husband was complaining that he didn't get any.  We were also out of pretzels which is what my husband ate in replacement.

Aldi $23.12

Just a few days later I was back at the store to get more chips and the salsa was just in case but we are already into it.  We were totally out of potatoes and ice cream sandwiches (important food group).  I got two boxes of crackers for my lunches.  I bought a back up oil, popcorn chicken, and chicken fries because I thought that it would stop me from going back to Aldi's later in the month.  I thought we needed rice but I was wrong but it won't go to waste for sure!!

 Wegman's $10.93

I went to get Vital Wheat Gluten for my bread making and of course they changed the package again and I couldn't find it.  I also wanted to get salt potatoes because they are a special treat that we like in the summer.  I grabbed three boxes of mac and cheese, YUM!  There was a sale on Raspberry Lemonade for $1.99 so I grabbed it because it was way cheaper then the darn Cran Grape!

Aldi $18.73

We were back at Aldi's again so soon with three trips before the middle of the month!  We were out of corn tortillas, tortilla chips and pretzels again!!  I grabbed some $0.49 eggs and carrots.  My husband wanted bananas so I brabbed a bunch on sale for $0.28 per pound.  We were out of blue cheese dressing so I got the Aldi kind which I haven't tried before but I figured that I would get the guarantee if we didn't like it.  I got some cheese hoping that would last us the rest of the month.  Who knows if I can make it work but I am going to try!!

Harris Teeter $46.48

They had a free bag of Smartfood over the weekend so I decided to wait for that and was amazed that it was the smallest bag I had every seen.  I had a promotion for four boxes of Quaker Chewy Bars for $1.77 and I grabbed all of the boxes on the shelf with the two additional ones being $2.  The Ocean Spray was finally on sale for buy one, get one free so they were about $2 each.  My husband and son picked out some Gatorade for $0.47 for a special treat.

Wegman's $3.99

Aldi $10.80

 Total OOP $119.34

I think that I did get a lot even if I did over spend.  I think that 5 bags of chips might be a bit much but they were only a little over a $5 for all of them which is the same as one bag of Doritos.  We haven't had a lot of snacks around the house and I have been trying to keep up with baking but I guess I haven't been doing a great job.  Here is hoping that the rest of the month goes really well and under budget with only $40 left to spend!!! UGH!

Hope that you have a good month so far too!!  Good luck for the rest of the month!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 5/15

Monday- Spiedies Grilled Chicken with white rice
Tuesday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken with homemade fries
Wednesday- Pasta with meatball sauce
Thursday- Tacos or other ground beef dish
Friday- Leftover Night
Saturday-Breakfast for Dinner- Pancakes, Waffles, Eggs and/or Hash Browns
Sunday- Herb Butter Roasted Chicken

Last week actually went really well according to plan.  We got Little Caesars Pizza on Saturday for lunch and we had meatball sliders for dinner.  I made extra sauce and meatballs so we will have that with our pasta on Wednesday.  I was trying to work out a plan for the weekend again but I again don't have a clue what is going on.  My mother in law is coming into town so I am not sure what our schedule is going to be for the next few weeks.  I am working on trying to be flexible and going with whatever happens but I know there will be a lot of changes so hoping for a smooth few weeks with enough food on hand to handle the changes in plans and people. 

Do you have any fun plans this week??

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Becky Wade's 'True to You' Prize Pack and $100 Giveaway

Do opposites really attract? John and Nora might just be the perfect match. Find out in True to You, book one in Becky Wade's new series! Genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Celebrate the launch of Becky Wade's new series by entering to win a fabulous prize pack and $100 cash card!

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of True to You
  • A $100 Visa cash card
  • A prize pack hand-picked by Becky

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 30. The winner will be announced May 31 on the Litfuse blog.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The English Son Book Review

I saw this book on the new release section and I have liked other books from this author so I decided that it was something I should check out.  The English Son: The Amish Millionaire Part 1 by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the first short book in the six book series of the Amish Millionaire.  I started reading it at the very end of the month but decided that I would go to bed instead of pushing through to finish it.  I brought it with me the next day to the doctors appointment and quickly finished it.  Super sad that I didn't have another book in my bag.

In Part 1 of The Amish Millionaire...When Joel Byler turned eighteen he left his Amish roots, but living the good life out in the world requires money, and he finds himself going back home to ask his wealthy and eccentric father for money—again. But how many times can Joel expect to be welcomed back before his father’s patience with him wears thin?

The Amish Millionaire -- A 6-Part Serial Novel
#1: The English Son
#2: The Stubborn Father
#3: The Betrayed Fiancee
#4: The Missing Will
#5: The Divided Family
#6: The Selfless Act

I was excited to get to read this short book because it was perfect that I could easily read it in bed and carry it in my bag.  I knew that I should have reserved the second book immediately when getting the first but I didn't.  I looked them all up on Amazon and it seemed that they were all available so I was excited to check out the other books in the series at the library.  I went to the library website and they only have the first book!!! WHAT?!  It ends on a cliffhanger and I don't know if I can handle waiting.  I guess it was a bad idea to get this book one of six in a book series and get started when I can't read the rest.  This book follows Joel who is now leading an English life and only visits his family when he needs something.  He is busy working in construction and trying to make a life for himself away from the Amish faith.  He has met a women and proposed to her but he hasn't introduced her to his family.  You have to pick up the book to find out what happens but I recommend finding the other books in the series or else you will be left with the cliffhanger that I am in.