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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Reflection Point Book Review

I was excited to get to the sixth book in the series, Reflection Point: An Eternity Springs Novel by Emily March.  I had enjoyed all of the books in the series so far and I was excited to see which characters were featured in this book.  I was happy and surprised to see that the sheriff, Zach Turner, was the focus of this book. 

Savannah Moore arrives in Eternity Springs alone, determined to put her troubled past behind her. Her handcrafted-soap shop fits right in with the magic of this warm and welcoming community—but the sexy, suspicious local sheriff promises to upset her hard-won happiness.

Zach Turner knows this woman means trouble: Maybe to his town. Possibly to his friends. Definitely to his heart. Something about this simmering Southern beauty does crazy things to his committed bachelor status, taunting him with possibilities far beyond his dedication to his sometimes dangerous job. So when Savannah’s dark past follows her to town, wreaking havoc with both their lives, Zach will fight for all he’s worth—for a love he can’t afford to lose.

Zach has been a staple character in every book as the town sheriff but frequently dating people that he knows aren't right for him.  He finds the right person for him in a new resident, Savannah Moore, and she decides that she isn't right for him.  There is the drama between the two of them going on through the whole book.  At the same time, Savannah is welcoming her teenage nephew into her home to try to raise.  She is trying to build her life on her own after a tough life and she is set that her nephew isn't going to have to live the same hard life.  There are a lot of twists and turn but the end is the biggest surprise which had me quickly picking up the next book to find out what happens next.  I hope that you check out this book and the rest of the series because I think that you will be surprised at all the action and intrigue.  I enjoyed this book and the rest of the series and I hope that you do too.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 8/7

Monday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken with homemade fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- Tacos
Thursday- Worchestershire Chicken with white rice
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday-Homemade Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Sunday- Leftovers or something creative

 Last week went okay but on Tuesday when I was supposed to make pasta, my husband got a free pizza for work so we got to have pizza and I didn't have to cook.  It was a big win in my book because I didn't have to worry about cooking or any of the dishes.

I got it stuck in my head that we were having tacos on Wednesday but luckily after correcting what I took out, I made the salsa sloppy joes but I realized that I hadn't made the rolls before dinner (insert eye roll) so I started the rolls in the bread maker knowing that they wouldn't be done until after dinner.  I promptly fell asleep on the couch after dinner and forgot about the dough until I went to shut off the kitchen light.  I then formed the rolls and had to let them sit for 30 minutes before baking.  I was wide awake with all that so I started to watch some TV with my husband who fell asleep. 

Thursday was supposed to be grilled chicken and white rice but I forgot to take out the chicken to thaw so I decided that I would use the leftover night because we were going to do pizza at the pool on Friday instead of leftovers.  It was a quick rearrangement but I guess that means that we might have to actually read the menu plan ahead and remember to take things out of the freezer....hopefully better next week.

Friday was pizza and we had pizza Saturday for lunch at a birthday party so I am all pizza-ed out.  I didn't want dinner on Saturday night but my son had spaghetti and my husband had the brats from the fridge.  I decided to be better on Sunday so I made some chicken and white rice.

I tried my best to keep up with the dishes although it was a daily battle to get everything clean.  I think that I did okay with running the dishwasher and getting the other dishes washed.  I cleaned the kitchen and wiped down the counters on day to only make a huge mess 10 minutes later which my husband claims I love to do.  It is like I see a blank canvas and I am read to bake and cook.  I really don't think that way but I do like to start working in a clean kitchen for sure.  Anyone else out there clean the kitchen before they start baking and mess it all up again?? 

I hope that you have a tasty week!!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Dangerous Minds Book Review

I was excited to put the next book in the Knight and Moon series on reserve when I saw it but it came in on my reserve shelf unexpectedly after all that waiting.  Dangerous Minds: A Knight and Moon Novel by Janet Evanovich is the newest book in the series.  I knew that I needed to start on it right away so that I could return it before it was due since I don't get renewals on books with holds.  I went straight to work on it and didn't put it down much until I was done.

The irrepressibly charming duo of Emerson Knight and Riley Moon returns in another gripping mystery by #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.

Buddhist monk Wayan Bagus lost his island of solitude and wants to get it back. The island was about two hundred miles northeast of Samoa. It had a mountain, beaches, a rain forest, and a volcano. And now it’s gone. Poof! Vanished without a trace.  Brilliant and boyishly charming Emerson Knight likes nothing better than solving an unsolvable, improbable mystery. And finding a missing island is better than Christmas morning in the Knight household. When clues lead to a dark and sinister secret that is being guarded by the National Park Service, Emerson will need to assemble a crack team for help. Since a crack team isn’t available, he enlists Riley Moon and his cousin Vernon. Riley Moon has a Harvard business degree and can shoot the eyes out of a grasshopper at fifty feet, but she can’t figure out how to escape the vortex of Emerson Knight’s odd life. Vernon has been Emerson’s loyal and enthusiastic partner in crime since childhood. He now lives in an RV behind Emerson’s house.  Together, this ragtag, mismatched trio will embark on a worldwide investigation that will expose a conspiracy one hundred years in the making.

So funny as this series so often is even though it is filled with mystery and action.  This book has both Emerson Knight and Riley Moon who were featured in the last book who always bring humor and adventure with their stories.  It also has Vernon, Emerson's crazy cousin who really might be a little special in his thinking.  In this book, Wayan Bagus brings even more humor with his island disappearing and the funny Buddist sayings that he throws into every conversation.  I was totally amused and laughed out loud at some parts while I was sitting on the edge of my seat because they were trying to escape the government men that were hunting them down for saving the universe.  I hope that you enjoy this book and check out the rest of the silly series!  I think that you will enjoy it as much as I have!!   I know that I couldn't put down any of these novels and I hope that it is works the same for you!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Nightingale Way Book Review

I was excited to get back to this wonderful series with the fifth book in the series, Nightingale Way: An Eternity Springs Novel by Emily March.  I really didn't know anything about the series or details on the books before starting but I was glad that I got to reserve all the books at the library so that I could read through them at my leisure.  The great thing is that this series is a little older so there are a bunch so with this book, I am about halfway through the series so excited to read the rest because it normally goes into more details about a character that you have met through other books in the series.

Dark, brooding Jack Davenport hides his secrets well, never telling his wife about the dangers of his job, never sharing his thoughts or worries . . . never sharing himself. After tragedy strikes, their marriage shatters. Now a threat to Catherine Blackburn’s life brings her back into his—and gives them a second chance.  A reporter whose most recent investigation has ignited a national controversy and put her in harm’s way, Cat thinks she can handle herself. So when Jack grabs her off the street and sweeps her to his home above Eternity Springs, she’s furious.  In the warm sanctuary of the Eternity Springs community, Jack and Cat face the heartache that drove them apart. But can they find the courage to pick up the pieces of a shattered love?

I was interested when I started this book because it started in Alexandria Virginia which is very close to where I live.  Wondering what this new location was going to bring to this series and all of the characters were new to the series, I was starting the book.  There was a quick turn of events and Cat was kidnapped from Alexandria and dropped in Eternity Springs by her ex-husband.  The very interesting thing about this book is that some of the mystery from the last book was revealed because she had appeared in the last book although you didn't know who she was then.  I loved to watch the two exes fight and try to work through problems that had not when they split 5 years before.  Eternity Springs is supposed to heal the past so find out what happens when you pick up this book.  I hope that you check out this book and others in this series soon.  I know that you will enjoy them as much as I have.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Money Secrets of the Amish Book Review

I am not really sure how I found this book while searching on the computer at the library but I am glad that I did.  I put it on hold and it came in fairly quickly.  It was copy written in 2011 so it isn't a super new book and this copy of the book smelled like incense.  I started to get used to it while reading through the humorous book.  It was a fast read and well worth looking it up if you haven't read it before.  Money Secrets of the Amish: Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing, and Saving by Lorilee Craker is a cheaper book on Amazon at $9 if you can't find it in your library, maybe add it to your wish list or check out the preview.

Take one thoroughly modern gal with a recessionary income problem, mix with the practices of a culture that has proved to be recession-proof, and what have you got?
A financial planner in a straw hat.
When writer Lorilee Craker learned that the Amish are not just surviving but thriving in the economic downturn, she decided to find out why.  What she found was about a dozen tried and true financial habits the Amish have employed for generations that will make your cash last longer and help you build wealth.  Craker provides tips to...
  • use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without
  • rethink your gift giving
  • repurpose, recycle, and reuse
  • eat like royalty for a peasant's pittance


Packed with practical, simple, and smart money saving ideas and teeming with great insight into the sensible Amish ways, Money Secrets of the Amishwill entertain you with stories and retrain your brain to be the savvy money saver you always dreamed you could be.  --Beth Wiseman, best-selling author of Plain Promise and Seek Me With All Your Heart
Sometimes touching, sometimes humorous and always helpful, author Lorilee Craker pulls us into the family rooms of the Amish and shows us how they make ends meet. Story after story illustrates savvy money management: trading for goods and services, shopping for bargains, living with less, avoiding debt, curbing the desire to impress others. And Craker’s journalistic bent provides plenty of takeaway value for the non-Amish. A very worthwhile read whether your bank account is bursting or busting.  --Suzanne Woods Fisher, author of Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and Lancaster County Secrets (Revell)
This book is like an Amish basement shelf loaded with Mason jars full of Plain money wisdom.  Self-confessed “Fancy” gal Lorilee Craker rolls up her sleeves and cracks them open one-by-one, figuring out how to fit Amish principles to a non-Amish life.  She succeeds, and so can you―read Money Secrets of the Amish and add weight to your wallet.  --Erik Wesner,; author ofSuccess Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive
Money Secrets of the Amish is a practical, doable guide, and it's such fun to read.  Lorilee's voice is as engaging and lively as ever, and the wisdom she shares from the Amish community is both inspiring and instructive. I just finished the last page, and my mind is buzzing with all sorts of ways to waste less, want less, and spend less.  --Shauna Niequist, author of Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet

Lorilee inspires and impacts your everyday life with this marvelous little read. From buttons to bakery you suddenly realize this conversation is not about just pinching a few pennies but about transforming how we view our everyday lives. I applaud Lorilee for asking the hard questions and pressing in to find honest answers. Forget the mall, kick back and soak up the delicious wisdom of a life well lived. Thank you Lorilee for shaping my everyday!  --Tracey Bianchi, author of Green Mama
Money Secrets of the Amish isn’t so much about making money; it’s about family, discipline, and redefining what wealthy means. This is a great read that helps us all to see more clearly what’s really valuable in our lives.  --Jeff McMahon, award-nominated musician and national director/runner with the Team McGraw endurance program

I thought that it brought some of the same ideas that I already use but it was filled with funny stories and strong reminders on how to be frugal.  These 14 chapters help describe how the Amish live that makes them more immune to the economic downturn then other Americans.  There are many ideas such as using things up, not paying bills late, not using credit, rethinking gifts, saving, buying in bulk, and bartering.  There are many lessons in this book and I know that the last chapter talking about the best things in life are free really brings the book to the natural conclusion.  We can all be reminded of great things that Amish do and things that we can do to make more frugal decisions even if we are already making them.  This book puts very funny stories with these lessons that make it even more fun and enjoyable.  I think that this book is a great summary for those who couldn't make it through the whole Tightwad Gazette with all the wonderful ideas.  I highly recommend checking this book out if you can find it at your local library!!  Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 7/31

Monday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken with homemade fries
Tuesday- Papa John's leftovers from my husband's work
Wednesday- Salsa Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese
Thursday- Spiedies Chicken with white rice
Friday- Pizza at the Pool
Saturday- Honey Mustard Chicken
Sunday- Leftovers??

Last week went well with enough time to get everything done and still make a batch of chocolate chip muffins and rolls before the week started.  I also got a loaf of bread and peanut butter cookies made during the week.  I woke up early one morning and made blueberry bread which came out of the oven before my husband had to go to work and it was hot and yummy!  I was hoping to get a few more things made but it took a little bit more time then I had with all the other activities we had going on.  I know that it helps to get my baked good made so I stretch the time before I have to go back to the store but I never leave enough time or creativity to get them made.

Last week went mostly according to plan except that I didn't take the chicken tenders out for Saturday because I wasn't looking at the calendar so I made a Chopped Salad with croutons and pepperoni for my husband and I.  I cooked up two Brats that I bought at the store that day for my husband and my son wanted spaghetti so we made that instead.  We had a birthday party on Sunday so we got home and were exhausted after all that so we just had leftovers so I moved the spicy chicken with leftover breadcrumbs to this weekend.

I had the whole post done and didn't take a picture of the calendar so I totally forgot that I didn't schedule the post ahead of time...oops!!  I hope that you have a tasty week!!

Debt to Pay Book Review

I got Robert B. Parker's Debt to Pay (A Jesse Stone Novel) by Reed Farrel Coleman out of the library because it was the next book in the Jesse Stone series.  I was excited to start it but it always got put farther down in the pile because it was such a big and heavy book that it seemed hard to figure out why I would want to carry it.  I finally started it and got to read most of it at home.

All is quiet in Paradise, except for a spate of innocuous vandalism. Good thing, too, because Jesse Stone is preoccupied with the women in his life, both past and present. As his ex-wife, Jenn, is about to marry a Dallas real-estate tycoon, Jesse isn’t too sure his relationship with former FBI agent Diana Evans is built to last. But those concerns get put on the back burner when a major Boston crime boss is brutally murdered. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Jesse suspects it’s the work of Mr. Peepers, a psychotic assassin who has caused trouble for Jesse in the past.

Peepers has long promised revenge against the Mob, Jesse, and Suit for their roles in foiling one of his hits—and against Jenn as well. And though Jesse and Jenn have long parted ways, Jesse still feels responsible for her safety. Jesse and Diana head to Dallas for the wedding and, along with the tycoon’s security team, try to stop Peepers before the bill comes due. With Peepers toying with the authorities as to when and where he’ll strike, Jesse is up against the wall. Still, there’s a debt to pay and blood to be spilled to satisfy it. But whose blood, and just how much?

I was excited to get started on this next book in the Jesse Stone series.  It was another one that was hard to put down because I needed to find out what was going to happen next.  Jesse is looking into someone who is shooting out the tires in the cars around Paradise but making no progress.  Jesse gets an invitation to his ex-wife Jenn's wedding.  He is set that he isn't going to be going until he puts together the shot out tires with another two crimes that were committed by Mr. Peepers.  Mr. Peepers sends Jesse a picture with a note on the back that he is going to harm Jenn so Jesse and his girlfriend, Diana head to Texas to help protect Jenn.  At the same time, things are going on in Paradise and they realize that they are needed back there to help the rest of the people that would be targets.  There is so much action going on in this book and you need to pick it up to see how everything ends up but I think that you will be surprised and amazed.  I was sad to come to the end of this book because I think that it might be the last book currently published.  I am going to have to keep my eye out for the next book in this great series!!  I hope that you check out this book and the rest of this series and enjoy it as much as I have!!!