Thursday, August 17, 2017

Heartsong Cottage Book Review

I had to double check a few times but I had this labeled as the 10th book in the series.  WHAT?!  Where did the whole series go to?  I feel like I just started it but I also feel like the summer just started and we only have three weeks left until school starts here.  I can't believe how quickly I have gone through this series this summer.  Heartsong Cottage (Eternity Springs) by Emily March is indeed the 10th book in this series which includes only 11 (and a Christmas special).

Two weary strangers are about to rest their burdens in Eternity Springs, where there's hope for every broken heart. Haunted by the loss of his wife and son, Daniel Garrett left the police force to devote his life to finding missing children. But he still hasn't found a way to mend the wounds of his past-until he attends a wedding in the small mountain town of Eternity Springs...and meets a beautiful, intriguing woman who offers a glimpse of something Daniel thought he'd never have again.  Shannon O'Toole isn't looking for romance. Ever since her fiancĂ©'s death, she created a quiet life for herself restoring Victorian cottages. Still, she can't deny her attraction to the handsome, broad-shouldered stranger. Daniel makes her feel things she's hasn't felt in years-including the desire to share her secrets. But can Shannon trust a detective when doing so could bring danger to her cottage door? In Eternity Springs, anything-and everything-is possible...

This was a great book.  We have met both Daniel and Shannon in previous books.  Daniel was the person who found Hope's daughter Holly and brought her back to her mother.  Shannon was running from something in her past and opened a bar in Eternity Springs.  They are both dealing with rough lives and trying to make the most of the present without overlooking the mistakes of the past.  Are the mistakes of the past causing them more problems in the present then they know?  Both Shannon and Daniel are brought together by their problems and both heal as a result.  Make sure you pick up this book to find out how because I don't think that you will believe it.  I was totally surprised!!  I hope that you check out this book and series for yourself and enjoy it as much as I have. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Teardrop Lane Book Review

I started Teardrop Lane: An Eternity Springs Novel by Emily March and was super excited because this was the book that I actually owns that assured that I would eventually get to read this series.  I don't know exactly where I picked it up but I can tell you that it was most likely free through one of the local libraries where I get to do lots of summer reading programs so that I can get free stuff. 

Town physician Rose Anderson hides a well of sadness behind her cheerful and capable professionalism. Heartbreak has only reinforced her belief that marriage and children aren’t in her future. Yet she’s a woman with a pulse—and when sexy, brooding artist Hunt Cicero shows up at her office with his young nephew, the sheer physical attraction he ignites in her is both exciting and unsettling.

Hunt has an artist’s passionate temperament and a bachelor’s lifestyle. So when he becomes guardian to his sister’s children, he’s riddled with conflict—and in way over his head. Without Rose and her warm maternal instincts, he’d be lost. Still, she’s a woman who guards her own heart, and he’s a novice when it comes to commitment. Can the healing magic of Eternity Springs shine on this patchwork family and allow Hunt and Rose to trust that  love is the fabric holding them together?

I was so excited to get to know both Rose and Hunt through this book after meeting them both in previous books.  Rose, sister to Sage, was brought to the town after dealing with cancer to reconnect with her sister.  She was a mystery before this only meeting her through contact as her position as town doctor.  In this book, you get to know so much about Rose's past and future through her relationship with Hunter Cicero, the glass blower friend of Gabi's.  Hunter is a womanizer and moved back to the US in order to be closer to his sister because she is going through cancer treatments.  In this book we meet the bachelor who has recently taken on caring for his sisters children after her death.  He has a tough past being in foster care and growing up without a family and then he is in the middle of raising children that were not expected.  I loved the story with the kids and all of the joys and troubles of raising children.  I was immediately glad that I got to know more about these two characters.  I thought this was a great book even though it was super sad.  I hope that you check out this book and the rest of the series and enjoy them as much as I have.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Middle of the Month Budget Update for Grocery and Eating Out

I think that last month seemed to go quickly and slowly at the same time.  I am starting to feeling that this month is the same.  I thought we were almost to the halfway point of the month but there was only week gone from the month!!!  I think that means that I have been in the grocery store too much!  The great thing is that I have gotten some great deals.  I also turned in a bunch of rebates so I am working hard to get the most for the budget this month for sure!

Aldi $40.78

I went to the store at the beginning of the month like the first day because we had a long list of things that we were already out of or getting close so I decided that I would make an effort to get everything so that I wouldn't have to turn around and go right back.  Here is hoping that these last me through the whole month but my boys finished two bags of chips in a week so it isn't looking good.

Harris Teeter $17.06

There was a deal where you got toilet paper for $9.99 each less $1 coupon which doubled during super doubles.  If you bought $15 of Cottonelle then you got a $3 catalina.  It wasn't the worst price but it wasn't the best price but I thought it was a good deal.  I put in for an Ibotta rebate for $0.50 off Cottonelle and $0.25 any item.

Harris Teeter $0.70

I ended up getting something messed up something in the transaction and it ended up negative which I hate because I am much better planning before for getting things for added money.   I added the Trident gum and held on to four coupons which should have been added in.  I hate wasting overage on things that aren't really food but there was a line and not my regular store or cashier so I didn't want to cause them to change their mind on the transaction.  I really should have bought a candy bar for myself instead of more gum for my husband.

I got lots for free including the rice, Plum fruit pouches, Imagine broth, crescent rolls,  ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, Oui French yogurt, and Crest toothpaste.  The potatoes were $0.99 each five lbs bag.  The pizza dough was $0.19 each. The Mr. Sketch markers were $0.99.  The Rev wrap was $0.50.  The trident gum was my last addition at $1.00 to make it positive because they rang up the meat wrong again so I made a profit!!

I put in a rebate for Checkout 51 for $0.75 for the Hormel REV Wrap so I ended up making money on everything.  I am going to get $1 back from Saving Star for the crescent rolls.

Harris Teeter $0.06

There was a deal on the new Healthy Soap for free after coupon and electronic coupon so I thought that it would make a good teacher gift with the other things that I got.  I also grabbed the Mr. Sketch skinny markers which were free after coupons.  I only had to pay tax and nothing else which is my favorite.

Harris Teeter $6.34

I got a bunch of things in this transaction and I don't really know how the price got so high because lots of things were free including the broth, ricotta, Crest, Greek Yogurt, Plum pouches, and the Ortega Taco Seasoning.  The pizza crust was $0.19 each which I didn't actually pay attention too because they were $2.99 last time and the price just went up.  My expensive purchases were the Kernel Popcorn seasoning for $1.24 each and the Centrum vitamins $2.49.  I used my $3 catalina to pay for part of the transaction.

I paid $0.50 each for the kids toothpaste and toothbrush and got back the $2.00 from Ibotta.  I paid $0.67 for the Puffs and put in $0.75 back from Checkout 51.  I will get $2 back from Saving Star for the Centrum Vitamins if the card is recognized because there is some other card number at the top of the receipt :(  I am getting really bummed because last time there was another card number on the screen and I made her cancel the transaction but I didn't see it this time which might cost me $2!

Harris Teeter $1.73

This was the weirdest transaction that I have done in a long time and I had to shop with my son so I couldn't really concentrate so I gave up and left before I had everything.  I got the free Tetley tea, Crest toothpaste, Splenda Naturals, Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream, Northland juice, So Delicous yogurt, and cresent rolls.  I paid $0.19 for the pizza dough and $0.99 for the lettuce.  The coffee was something that I got because it was a money maker and it turns out that I couldn't even find it on the receipt!!!

The cereal was supposed to be $1.97 limit 4 but I couldn't figure out which ones were on sale.  I brought four up to customer service to check to see which ones were on sale.  Two of the ones that I picked weren't on sale and so I went back to try again.  I got two Raisin Bran and two Special K but they didn't ring up correctly and the cashier rang up the wrong number.  I went to customer service they gave me $5.54 back for the extra cereal charged and the corrected pricing.

I turned in a Ibotta rebate for the Splenda Naturals for $1.25 each limit 2 but they said that they couldn't find it on the receipt!!  There is a Saving Star promo for Splenda so if I buy three more then I will get $5 back through Saving Star for buying $20.00 worth so I am on the hunt!!

Harris Teeter $3.15

I found one more box of Splenda but the store that I went to didn't have any more but said that the a truck was coming in later in the day.  I turned in this for the Ibotta $1.25 rebate so that I didn't loose it altogether.  It started to make me feel like I was planning a bank heist but I knew that I couldn't make it back with all the things that I had planned.  I got the rice and Crest free.  I grabbed the Annie's cereal for $0.50 and there will be a $1 Saving Star rebate so it a money maker and tasty treat.  I got the Annie's crackers and after sale, coupon and $0.50 Saving Star rebate it was a moneymaker.  The Eight O'Clock Coffee was a money maker after sale, coupon and $1.50 Checkout 51 rebate so I got it for a present for my in-laws because we don't drink.  The Old El Paso seasoning was $3.45 for the 3 of them less $2 for the doubled coupon so $1.45 OOP and there was a $1 Saving Star rebate.  I thought they were a little cheaper so I might have messed that one up and should have passed on the seasoning because that is way above what I normally pay for taco seasoning.

Harris Teeter $2.97

I finally found the Dole Mixations that I had been carrying the coupons around for at the 4th different Harris Teeter I went to.  I got my three and picked up the Pringles for $1.49 after sale and coupon and electronic coupon.  My son was excited but wanted to get more but I told him there was only one.  The Advil was a money maker after all was done but with a shelf price of $5.29, I hesitated on buying it.  I used a $2 coupon which doubled so I paid $1.29 OOP.  There was a Saving Star rebate for $2 and $1.50 Ibotta rebate.

Harris Teeter $0.27

I went to another store and got two more toothpaste and the last Dole Mixation that I had a coupon for and only paid tax.

Harris Teeter $4.22

I got free Crest and So Delicious Yogurt.  The Annie's had a new electronic coupon that I didn't catch at the last store so I grabbed it and it was a money maker.  I found the popcorn on sale for half off so I grabbed 8 lbs of popcorn.  It doesn't go to waste here because we go through a lot.

Harris Teeter $3.58

I was hitting rock bottom and already on my third store of this day and to a Harris Teeter that I have literally never even seen.  I went in search of the Splenda which I didn't find.  I got another set of markers for $0.99, two Crest for free, Kid's Crest for $0.50 (turned in rebate for $0.50), and Fairlife Milk for $1.50 (turned in $0.75 rebate).

Harris Teeter $0.24

Decided that I would go to yet another Harris Teeter even though it was getting close to the end of super doubles.  There was no Splenda here either but I got two Crest and headed home exhausted and totally full on toothpaste for a long time.

Harris Teeter -$5.22

How is it even fair that they post a great week with coupons the week after super doubles but they did.  I got the Hamburger Helper, Freezer to Plate, Old El Paso Taco Shells and Colgate free after sale and coupons.  The Scalloped Potatoes were $0.50 each but I need one more item to get the $1 Saving Star rebate with the Hamburger helper so it will be paid back with that rebate.  The Annie's Cereal was $0.50 but I thought the other box was tasty so I decided to go for it.  The Cinnamon Toast Crunch was $2.50 less $0.50 coupon that doubled for each and the $1/2 electronic coupon so they were $1 each and I will get $1/2 back from Saving Star.  It also happens to be my son's favorite cereal so it was a little more then I would pay but he hasn't had it in awhile.

Aldi $0.81

I got a container for the store brand cool whip for my son because he likes it on pancakes instead of syrup and we were totally out.  I don't know if it is any healthier but he likes it.

Harris Teeter $0.05

I stopped back at the store on our way from other errands and I got two boxes of scalloped potatoes and two bags of candy.  I forgot to look for the noodles that were on sale.  Oops!!  It was a busy day for sure so grocery shopping was the last thing on my mind.

I went to lots of super doubles events and there is usually a few things that they have to get for free but I really feel like I got so many more things this time even though I was a little unorganized.  I was really happy that I worked really hard to get the deals and made the time to go to lots of stores and check for stock. I might have over done the shopping because I was wiped out after it and there was no cupboard space left for some of my stuff.  The bad thing is that I hit the beginning of the month pretty hard to get the deals.  I spent $67 in the first week which is way more then a 1/4 of my $160 monthly budget.  I am hoping that it all works out well and I just spend the rest of the month in the kitchen instead of the grocery store.

Total Retail $520.27
Total Savings $443.53
Total OOP $76.74

Hope you are having a good month too!


Eating Out

This month has been pretty good with eating out.  We had friends over and we bought pizza for $16.29.  That was the only expense for eating out.  My mother came into town and took us out for a lunch which was at my son's favorite restaurant and we all ate a ton even though we only ordered a salad, chicken and pizza which we the four of us split.  We all left over stuffed!! 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 8/14

Monday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken with homemade fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- French Dip Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese
Thursday- Spiedie Grilled Chicken with white rice
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday- ??
Sunday- Leftovers??

Last week went pretty well although we were pretty busy.  We had my son's favorite dinner on Monday followed by Spaghetti on Tuesday.  Super excited that I took out meat ahead for tacos instead of forgetting this week to thaw things.  My Thursday plans were to grill some chicken from the freezer by I bought bone in chicken breasts so I decided to use those instead.  I boiled the other two chicken breasts on Tuesday night and made broth with the rest of the bones and a little bit from the freezer so I didn't waste the broth from the pot.  My mother decided to pop into town on Friday so we had a guest for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night dinner so I quickly had to figure out some meal choices.  I decided to use the pizza crusts that I bought at the store to make some pepperoni and sausage bread to have for an easy dinner with salad and leftovers for Friday night.  The rest of the weekend took a little more thought and searching through the pantry.  I hope that you have a tasty week!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dreamweaver Trail Book Review

I was excited to get to this book and it was hard to put it down with all of the different things going on.  Dreamweaver Trail: An Eternity Springs Novel by Emily March  is book 8 of the series.  I can't believe how quickly I am going through this series and I am sad to say that there are only 11 books so I am quickly approaching the end.  It is bitter sweet because I certainly love to meet all of the new characters and become so close to them that I feel like I live in the small Colorado town but I am sad to see it come to an end.

After another lonely Valentine’s Day, Gabi Romano trades mountain snowfall for sunshine and sand at a luxurious Caribbean getaway. There she finds not one but two thrilling new passions: creating art glass, and Flynn Brogan, the sexy caretaker next door who brings her fantasies to life. But when violence interrupts their romantic interlude, she learns that Flynn is living a lie. Heartsick, she decides to concentrate on her craft. Playing with fire is safer than loving a man like Flynn.

Flynn is determined to make things right with Gabi—until his enemies interfere. Now damaged and driven by a need he cannot define, he seeks out Gabi’s Colorado community as a mystery man searching for peace, though not expecting redemption. But he never imagined a place like Eternity Springs, where lives are changed, second chances are given, and the possibility exists for two wounded souls to find their way home . . . to each other. 

This book was a tough one which made it hard to put down.  I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next for Gabi and Flynn.  I read the start of the book at the end of the last book and strangely the author changed the main characters name so when I picked up the book and started, I was super confused because the book sounded familiar but different.  I decided when I finally figured out what happened that I would never read that teaser chapter again because it took me longer to figure out what was going on then if I had just read it.  I still really liked the story once I started with Gabi searching for her new job and a meaning in her life and Flynn doing basically the same thing.  They quickly find each other on the small island in the Caribbean where Gabi is dog sitting and Flynn is hiding out.  They find so much in common so quickly that they can't help but fall quickly in love.  They are both fighting against their past and refusing to believe it.  There is a ton of action in this book and you will have to pick it up to believe it but it is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.  I hope that you check out this book and the rest of this great series.  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I have!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Miracle Road Book Review

I was super happy to start Miracle Road: An Eternity Springs Novel by Emily March which was the next in my very big stack to read.  At the same time, I decided to go through the whole series and write up the drafts of the blog posts to include the beginning, the picture and the summary from Amazon.  I got a bunch up and scheduled them to get posted one day after the next with the hope that I would get them all read before the dates and post the different things on my blog.  I find it helpful to have the draft there so that I can just click and quickly do my beginning and end of the post so that I am not so far behind when I am posting these reviews.  I hope that it helps but I am currently two reviews behind so it isn't working great.

After tragedy strikes his team, college basketball coach Lucca Romano arrives in the haven of Eternity Springs to reassess his life. Even a winning record and big offers can’t dent the wall of guilt that Lucca has built around himself. Nothing can—except maybe a vibrant new neighbor who won’t give up on him.

Schoolteacher Hope Montgomery believes in miracles. She has to believe—because giving up would mean crumbling under the greatest loss a parent can endure. Hope understands Lucca’s suffering; she lives it herself every day. However, the high school team needs his coaching expertise, so she sets out to draw him from his cold, solitary shell and into the warmth of life in their small Rocky Mountain town. But when a weak moment leads to consequences that shake Hope’s faith, it’s up to Lucca to put aside his heartache and show the teacher that here in Eternity Springs broken hearts can heal—just in time for Christmas.

I was excited to get to this book and get to know more of the Romano family.  This has been so interesting to get to meet some new and some old characters in the book series.  This book has Lucca and Hope as the main characters.  Hope is a very positive person who has tons of negative things happen to her through her life.  Her marriage fell apart and she lost her child and she moved to Eternity Springs to rebuild.  Lucca is going through his own loss with a horrible bus crash with his basketball team and loosing three players.  They are both trying to rebuild their lives in this quiet small town but both are having a tough time getting over the past.  I hope that you check out this book and others in the series to enjoy the wonderful town of Eternity Springs and see how the characters overcome their own obstacles to grown and change.  I have enjoyed each book more then the last and I hope that you do too.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

July Reading Review

I had three books piled up at the very beginning of the month and I swore that I was going to be better but the summer got the best of me.  We started a busy schedule very quickly and I didn't keep up with the computer reviews because I didn't have enough time in front of the computer.  I was going to write the reviews at night and the night quickly went by without any typing.  I went to a library program where my son went in and I stayed out and I realized that I had an hour to myself!!!  I got on the computer to start writing reviews but I wasn't even sure which books I had read.  I quickly tried to remember and I came up with a list even though it wasn't in the right order.  I was excited that my memory worked well enough to get them posted with the free time I had.  Although I could say that I would do better, I knew that the summer schedule is too busy and I will be behind again soon enough.  The great news is that I got better because I started sitting down at the computer while my son was in library programs and getting three reviews completed in that time.  It was great to keep up with it all.

Below are the list of the books that I read for the month.  If you click on the title, it will bring you to a summary and review of each book that I have read.  I hope that you add a few of these on your reading list!!!

by Reed Farrel Coleman
by Shelly Sheppard Gray

by Amy Lillard

by Kate Lloyd

by Emily March

by Emily March 

by Emily March

by Joni Meyer- Crothers

by Emily March 

by Bunmi Laditan

by Reed Farrel Coleman

by Lorilee Craker

by Emily March

by Janet Evanovich

by Emily March

Total Books Read for 2017

January    8
February  15
March     17
April      13
May        10
June         10
July          15

Total Books Read     88

Currently Reading:

Miracle Road
by Emily March