Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July End of the Month Shopping and Eating Out Totals

I have kept our family of three on a monthly budget of $160 for over 6 years.  There are some months that are a little up and some months that are little under but my yearly totals always work out to under budget.  I try to stretch the money by shopping sales and using coupons.  This month was no exception but we took vacation this month so I spent a lot less time in the grocery store.  Sometimes that works out well because I don't spend a lot money and other times it works out badly because I spend too much when I am there.  What I buy in a monthly changes based on the sales and deals that I find and I stock up on things to get everything at the lowest cost.

In more recent years, I have started tracking out eating out spending which I try to keep under $40 per month.  I track our purchases here and if our eating out spending goes too high then I try to cut back on grocery spending to make up for the difference.

Check out below what I got for the month and how much I spent on each transaction.  There is a breakdown for all of the transactions except those that I did at the beginning of the month because I broke them down here.

Harris Teeter $2.04 

Harris Teeter $0.06

Harris Teeter $0.06

Giant $0.00

Harris Teeter $18.42

Harris Teeter $0.06

Harris Teeter $4.51

Harris Teeter $0.31

Harris Teeter $1.36

Giant $6.96

Harris Teeter $0.03

I printed out coupons and had them in my folder so I was excited to find the yogurt on sale to make these free even though they weren't labeled on the shelf.

Harris Teeter $20.19

I went a little crazy on this shopping trip but I got three free yogurts which I ate already.  I grabbed bananas, lettuce and corn on the cob.  There was a deal on the bacon and I had a coupon but it rang up wrong so I ended up getting lots of money back at customer service so they ended up being $0.95 each.  I grabbed stick margarine because we were totally out.  I got all of the Quaker Big Chewy bars that they had on the shelf because they were on sale for $1.67 which is a great price.  In my biggest splurge, I bought the ice cream deal where you bought $15 of ice cream then you got $5 off.  The Ben and Jerry's was on sale in my evic for $2.97 (and my son has started a new love of them) and the Magnum bars were on sale for $3.34 and I had a $0.75 coupon to make them $1.84 (and my husband loves them).  They worked out to a super low price and a great treat for us.  I also used my catalina from my husband's Giant transaction to get an amazing total.

Giant $0.05

I got a free container of ketchup with the online coupon that I saved to my card.  The shelves were empty and there was a cardboard display that had this so I grabbed it.

Shoppers -$0.01 

I went to the store to get the freebie from last week and they were out but I got a rain check.  I went back with my rain check and my new freebie loaded to the card.  I got both and the total was $0.09 in tax so I gave the cashier a dollar bill.  He said something about how the computer wasn't working with the total and he gave me my change so I counted it in the car and he gave me 3 quarters, 2 dimes, 1 nickel and 1 penny.  I know that everyone is adding the money in their head but it was $1.01.  I think he accidentally gave me back an extra dime but I wasn't going back in the store to give him back his dime.

Aldi $7.60

I went to the store to get milk but I was a little hungry so I probably grabbed more then I needed to but all things that we need and will use.  I use the oyster crackers to make garlic Parmesan or ranch crackers for my husband's lunch or snack.  I also got more crackers for me.  We were down to our last bag of chips and I grabbed some more salsa because it is what goes with the chips.

Harris Teeter $7.74

I went to get my weekend freebie and the deal on the Always pads.  They aren't my favorite ones but you get what you get with the sales and inventory.  They were on sale for $3.99 and there was a coupon for $3/2.  There was a deal that you got $3 off if you bought 3 instantly.  I went with four items and two coupons for it was $7 out of pocket and then I turned it in for $2 rebate from Ibotta and $0.25 any item rebate and a second $2 rebate from Ibotta.

Aldi $5.31

I didn't get turkey the last time I was at Aldi because I was thinking about going to Harris Teeter to get it because my husband prefers theirs but I didn't so I stopped back by Aldi's and grabbed ice cream sandwiches because we were almost out.

Total Retail $361.65
Total Savings $286.96
Total OOP $74.69

I did kind of amazing this month with lots of things that I got but lots of savings.  I was so far under my budget that even I was amazed.  I tried to think of more things that I needed to get and the only thing that came up was more Cran Grape.  Then my husband told me where he moved the storage too without my knowledge so turned out we didn't need that either.  I turned in $22.25 in rebates so that is a huge chunk of money back on my very limited spending.  I used lots of catalinas to get away with lots less spending then normal.  

I dug through the freezer and there is lots of food in there and the pantry to get us through the rest of the summer until I can make it to the store more regularly when my son goes back to school.  As long as remember to take food out to defrost and find enough time at home for baking, I will make it through August with flying colors.

Eating Out

We were out on vacation which we try to maintain the same budget for eating out as we do every month which is $40 but we normally go over.  We spent $57.66 so just a little over.  We didn't plan on any more eating out for the month and didn't do any more.  The great thing is that  being under on my grocery budget usually makes up for the difference and that was the case this month.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 7/30

Meal Choices

Chicken fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries
Spaghetti (maybe Chicken Parmesan again)
Steak and Rice with Corn on the Cob
Dinner with Family

Last week we did homemade pizza on Monday and Chicken fries and homemade fries for my son and Chicken Wraps for us.  I don't know what was going on Wednesday but I know we probably had a gross rain storm.  We totally forgot the pot luck dinner again because I never know what day of the week it is so we had grilled chicken and white rice.

Thursday night was Easy Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti  from the chicken patties in the freezer.  It is a tasty meal and one that I normally don't make in the summer but my husband asked for chicken parm so I made the easy kind!

Friday was a day that I got to be at home so I decided to make chili (instead of tacos) because you are supposed to let that simmer all day.  I have never made chili before and I wasn't sure what to do but I cooked up over two pounds of meat and dumped a spice mix into and added a large jar of tomatoes and simmered.  I thought it needed a little more spice so I added a little bit of sriracha but probably not enough.  We had it over Fritos with melted cheese.  It was a tasty treat and I know that I will make it again soon.  I froze the second half of the batch to eat another time too!!

Saturday rolled around and I was exhausted so I was pushing for leftovers and it was the last meal on the list for the week since I messed up the pot luck.  We finished most of the food in the fridge so Sunday was missing from the plan.  I decided on chicken and rice with corn on the cob which I also forgot to make during the week.

Planning for next week and hoping that I will do better with making the food that I actually planned but I guess that is how summer goes!!

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Lucky One Book Review

I read The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks when it first came out in hard back.  I actually owned the book so when book club said that they were reading something that I owned and had, I knew that I better get my act together and read it before the meeting.  It is an easy read that goes quickly just like lots of the Nicholas Sparks books because you can't put them down.  I went back to link my reading to my previous review and saw that this book came out in 2008 and I started review books in 2011 so I knew that it wasn't going to be on my blog so I decided to review it.

In his 14th book, bestselling author Nicholas Sparks tells the unforgettable story of a man whose brushes with death lead him to the love of his life.

After U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photograph of a smiling young woman buried in the dirt during his tour of duty in Iraq, he experiences a sudden streak of luck -- winning poker games and even surviving deadly combat. Only his best friend, Victor, seems to have an explanation for his good fortune: the photograph -- his lucky charm.

Back home in Colorado, Thibault can't seem to get the woman in the photograph out of his mind and he sets out on a journey across the country to find her. But Thibault is caught off guard by the strong attraction he feels for the woman he encounters in North Carolina - Elizabeth, a divorced mother -- and he keeps the story of the photo, and his luck, a secret. As he and Elizabeth embark upon a passionate love affair, his secret soon threatens to tear them apart -- destroying not only their love, but also their lives.  Filled with tender romance and terrific suspense, THE LUCKY ONE is an unforgettable story about the surprising paths our lives often take and the power of fate to guide us to true and everlasting love.

I enjoyed the book and the great characters.  It was a fast paced book that had me always wanting to read a little more and not put it down.  I read it in a few days and enjoyed getting back to a book that I hadn't read in a long time.  Thilbault is kept safe while serving in the military oversees and decides that he is going to the best when he comes back to the states.  He is being a good friend to his friend Victor by granting his dying wish.  He went on a long journey walking across the United States to find the women in the picture that Victor said was his good luck charm.  He finally found her and made a life for himself but forgot to tell her that he walked across the country to find her and she found out.  It was an interesting story and amazing to watch the way things worked out.  A great book which lead to another great movie but I don't think that I have seen the movie yet so adding it to my list.  Hoping to see it soon!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Minding the Light Book Review

I read the first book in the series and was excited to see that there were already two more books underway.  Minding the Light (Nantucket Legacy) by Suzanne Woods Fisher was the second book in the series and doesn't let down continuing with a different family member and following the journal through how it saves the next generation and enjoying the history of Nantucket while reading it.

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship's hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. "Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?" he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn't defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and "mind the Light," finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be--honorable, wise, faithful--she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren's business partner, cousin, and best friend--and Daphne's fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?
Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

I wasn't sure when I read the first book in the series if I was going to be interested in this historical fiction book but I was hooked.  I am not really big on the historical books because they are often hard to get through and not quick reads.  This book is totally different because it is a great story with lots of amazing characters.  I was really looking forward to finding out what is going to happen with the boat coming back after 6 years.  Ren found out that he has two children and quickly lost his wife after arriving home.  It was a crazy journey to find out all that happens in this book but I promise you will like the trip and be totally captivated with the story.  I hope that you enjoyed this book and the rest of the series as much as I did!!  

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Quilting Circle Book Review

I reserved a bunch more books at the library because things were coming in every day on my reserve shelf.  This book was another surprise that I reserved a long time ago.  I read other things by the author so I grabbed the chance at reading this new release book.  The Quilting Circle (A Wells Landing Romance) by Amy Lillard was three books in one and I was excited to find out what it was about and start reading!  I got the chance to take it on vacation with me and start the book while at the beach.

United by faith, and bonded by their quilting circle, the Amish women of Wells Landing, Oklahoma, are there for one another through all life’s joys and challenges . . .

Youngest quilter Clara Rose Yutzy is planning her wedding to her longtime beau—which is why she resolutely ignores newly warm feelings for her best friend, Obidiah. But Obie is certain God intends them to be together. With the Lord’s help, he’ll prove to Clara Rose how much he loves her . . .

Mariana Miller prayed for a child throughout fifteen years of marriage. But now, newly widowed, Mariana discovers she’s pregnant—with twins! She’s more grateful than ever for her caring community—especially Reuben Weisel, her late husband’s business partner and best friend. Reuben’s quiet strength comforts her—until he proposes marriage . . .

Tess Smiley is new to Wells Landing and newly married. But her marriage isn’t the harmonious union she envisioned. Tess loves Jacob with all her heart, but her heart tells her she must take a stand—and ask for support. Only then does Jacob see how he has hurt her. But is he too late? . . .

I hope that you check out this book of short stories and enjoy it for yourself.  I have enjoyed lots of the books in the small town with the wonderful characters and this was a great book to read.  I started it on vacation and got very little reading done so I finished it quickly at home.  It is a fast read with the three stories in one book.  It makes you want to flip to the next story right after finishing the last one.  The first story is about Clara Rose who is going to marry her longtime boyfriend in just a few weeks when her male best friend declares that she shouldn't but doesn't tell her why.  It is interesting to watch the upheaval that this brings to her life and how she works out what is best for her.  The second story is about Mariana who is widowed and pregnant with her first child after waiting through her 15 years of marriage for just this gift, she is questioning how she is going to do it on her own.  It is amazing to see the town come together to help her and the friends that change quickly to step up to helping her especially after she was put on bed rest so planning for the future is made even harder.  The third story is about Tess who is new to Wells Landing because she moved shortly after marrying her husband Jacob to the town where his family lives.  She misses her family and feels even farther away from her husband with all his long hours working and no family around to support her.  It is amazing what happens and how all the stories tie together when Clara Rose steps in to help repair their broken marriage.  The stories are all centered around the small town of Wells Landing but each book focuses on another character.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!!!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 7/23

Meal Choices

Homemade Pizza
Chicken fries, Chicken Nuggets and homemade fries
Pot Luck Dinner
Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti
Chicken and Rice
Leftovers or Grilling

Last week we went with Chicken fries, Chicken Nuggets and Fries on Monday.  Tuesday was Homemade Pizza night.  Wednesday we had plans and then a friend told us about the event that I forgot about so we went there and my son ate before leaving and played the whole time with the bounce house and water slide.  Thursday was Grilled Chicken with white rice.  Friday was pasta with zucchini.  Saturday we had a birthday party for lunch which we had planned to leftovers for dinner but the party was postponed but we ended up having leftovers anyway.  Sunday was a slow day but we had a yummy dinner at the end of the day with Chicken fries, Chicken Nuggets and Mac and cheese to make sure that my son ate enough food.

I was hoping that I would have a better clue with this week but it is up in the air too!!  Hoping that we have enough planned this week to enjoy a tasty meal every night without scrambling!

Friday, July 20, 2018

July Almost Middle of the Month Shopping Update

My budget for our family of three is $160 per month.  I normally shop sales, use coupon and do every thing that I can to stretch that budget to get as much as possible.  I have started making a better effort to also do rebates but I don't count those back into my budget.  I am always amazed at how much I can get for very little with a little work to get the best deals on the food my family wants to eat. Many of our foods are made at home like bread, rolls, breakfast treats and more which means less trips to the grocery store because we need something urgently. 

We make most of our meals at home to get yummy home cooked foods and because we prefer it.  Eating out is something that is more of a treat because we do it less often.  We found that we were eating out before and not even enjoying the food or the time out so I find that the food always tastes better when we are looking forward to it.  I budget $40 per month on eating out which is detailed below.

I went a little past the middle of the month because I totally forgot that it was the middle of the month. Vacation seems to have killed my sense of time and any idea of what day it is.  Below is the groceries that I have gotten for the first half of the month with a breakdown of the different items.

Harris Teeter $2.04 

I went to get the Pringles for vacation with a coupon that I bought on Kellogg's Family Rewards because they are my son's favorite.  They worked out to $0.47 each.  I got two more tissues while I was there which were free.

Harris Teeter $0.06

I used up two coupons on the tissues and was excited for more free tissues.

Harris Teeter $0.06

More free tissues.

Giant $0.00

We went to the store to get my freebie and they didn't have it so they subbed out any one and my son picked this one which he real enjoyed.

Harris Teeter $18.42

I went to go get more tissues and saw the Cran Grape was on sale so I grabbed a bunch.  We were down to the bottom of our stockpile so I was excited to stock up.

Harris Teeter $0.06

More free tissues and the last of the coupons.

Harris Teeter $4.51

I went to the store with my $2 catalina in my hand to spend on groceries.  I had a quick list written down and we were leaving for vacation that morning so I knew that I needed to shop quickly but it was super doubles and it was impossible for me to pass it up!!  I got the 4 Nature Valley Granola Bars and 2 Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks in order to get the free milk.  I paid $0.50 for each salad dressing after sale and coupon and turned it in for $4 from Ibotta on rebates and got $0.25 any item rebate.  I also got $0.50 from Nature Valley and $0.50 from Betty Crocker from Saving Star.  I got the free drink from my evic card which I think someone drank at the beach but I didn't try it.

Harris Teeter $0.31

This was my most amazing transaction because I don't know what happened but I think that the cashier put extra coupons on my account so I needed to find more items to go on the transaction to make it go positive.  The amazing bonus was that I turned in $3 rebates for the Hershey's Bites.  My husband wasn't a big fan but they were like little cookies and not the fluffy doughnuts that they look like on the box so we probably won't get those again.

Harris Teeter $1.36

I still had my catalina from my Nature Valley transaction and wanted to make sure that I had enough to checkout over the amount without having to scramble to get more.  I went and grabbed the 4 bottles of Newman's Own Salad Dressing and 4 of the Organic Ones which were all $0.50 after sale and coupons.  There was a rebate for $1 on each one.  I got the big Dawn bottles for $0.50.  I used to get the small ones free all the time but that isn't normal anymore so I stock up when I get a good deal.  I also got two more pizza crusts which are our new favorite once a week dinner.

Giant $6.96

While we were on vacation we needed ice cream because it is one of the major food groups on vacation.  My husband went to the store by himself and got 4 boxes of cereal with coupons for $0.50 per box and 3 ice creams that were on sale.  It worked out to more of an amazing deal because we got $1 back from Saving Star for the cereal and $3 catalina to spend on more groceries. We enjoyed the ice cream on vacation and then the cereal mostly at home!!  We were totally out of cereal so it was great to find a good deal!!

Total Retail $230.31
Total Savings $196.53
Total OOP $33.78

I think that I did pretty well so far this month which included staying out of the store a little bit and picking up some great deals.  I already turned in $17.75 in rebates so that is a huge chunk of money back on my very limited spending.  I still have a $3 catalina to spend on a few groceries which will stretch to get some more deals this month.  

I have been working on using things from the cupboard, freezer, and around the house.  I did a great job bringing lots of meals and snacks on vacation with us so I didn't need to do any more shopping.  I cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner so we got lots of yummy meals without having to buy lots of expensive last minute groceries or meals out.  Hoping to dig through the freezer tomorrow and plan out the rest of the month with what I have left and see what other groceries I need to grab.  Currently the list is tub butter, stick butter, lettuce and ice cream sandwiches but I am going to try to figure it out what else needs to be added.

Eating Out

We were out on vacation which we try to maintain the same budget for eating out as we do every month which is $40 but we normally go over.  We spent $57.66 so just a little over.  We don't plan on any more eating out for the month.  The great thing is that  being under on my grocery budget usually makes up for the difference so I am sure that it will be the case this month.  Crossing my fingers that it works out at the end of the month on track for our budget.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Bread

I gathered together all my ingredients and no recipe in order to make this special bread on vacation that I had seen on pinterest.  I had the idea when I got the bread on sale and with a coupon so I froze a few loaves but funny thing is that I didn't have a recipe but I figured that I would make it up when it was time.

I found a recipe online and it was all of the things that I had so I started the process.  First step is cutting the bread in both directions.  It is really easy with a good knife so I brought my bread knife from home with me on vacation.  You have to go through the bread but not all the way to the bottom.

I started with the grated cheese in each section which I opened with fingers.  The bagged cheese made it really easy to dump it in and push it down into the cracks.  After doing it one direction, the other side is super easy.

Then I added the bacon bits into the cracks which opened the bread even more then before.

I melted a stick of butter in the microwave and then mixed in the ranch seasoning.  The ranch is about half of the package so if you get a package you can make two loaves.

I poured the butter on top of the bread and baked but I only had a little bit of little aluminum foil so it was a little complicated to cover well.  It got a little more brown on the edges but it was soft an amazing inside.

We really enjoyed it and made it the next night too when my mom found a round sourdough bread at the farmers market while we were on vacation.  I might have mastered it but now out of bacon so made two more without it and they weren't nearly as tasty but still yummy!!  It might be the new family favorite recipe!!!

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Bread

  • 1 round loaf of sourdough bread or similar
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 tbsp dry ranch dressing mix
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Using a sharp bread knife, cut the bread going in both directions but don't cut all the way through the bottom.
  3. Place shredded cheese in between the slices in the bread and pack it in here.
  4. Add in bacon to taste.
  5. Put the bread in a container with sides like a square or round baking dish
  6. Melt stick of butter in microwave and add 1 tbsp dry ranch mix. Mix until combined and pour the butter mixture over top of the bread.
  7. Cover the container in aluminum foil to seal.
  8. Bake at 350F degrees for 15 minutes.
  9. Unwrap from the foil and bake for another 10 minutes (or until the cheese is melted and the top is browned). Eat immediately and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 7/16

Meal Choices

Chicken fries, Chicken Nuggets and homemade fries
Chicken and Rice
Olive Oil Pasta with garlic bread
Homemade Pizza
Fried Rice

Last week actually went pretty well and now everyone is back to work and camp so I am just planning dinners again.  Lunches are fairly basic and packed in the morning for everyone.  I don't know what we are having every night yet but I am sure that I will figure it out as the week goes along!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Forgotten Road Book Review

I got another book off my hold shelf and when reading the description, I was sure that I had already read it.  I looked up The Forgotten Road (The Broken Road Series) by Richard Paul Evans on my blog and it said that I hadn't read it.  I looked up the author and saw that I read the book before it in the series.  What a second book?!  Yeah!  I was excited to read it but I knew that it was serious so I did put it behind the other book in my reading pile.

Chicago celebrity and successful pitchman Charles James is supposed to be dead. Everyone believes he was killed in a fiery plane crash. But thanks to a remarkable twist of fate, he’s very much alive and ready for a second chance at life—and love. Narrowly escaping death has brought Charles some clarity: the money, the fame, the fast cars—none of it was making him happy. The last time he was happy—truly happy—was when he was married to his ex-wife Monica, before their connection was destroyed by his ambition and greed.

Charles decides to embark on an epic quest: He will walk the entire length of Route 66, from Chicago to California, where he hopes to convince Monica to give him another shot. Along the way, Charles is immersed in the deep and rich history of one of America’s most iconic highways. But the greater journey he finds is the one he takes in his heart as he meets people along the road who will change his perspective on the world. But will his transformation be enough to earn redemption?

I read the first book in the series and when I read the description of the book then I thought this was the same book again...however it was so much more.  This book went over the personal ideas and journey of Charles while he was walking Route 66 after closely avoiding death by plane crash.  I couldn't believe the situations that Charles was in but he grew as a person and learned what was of value to him that made him happy.  It is amazing to see what he finds that brings him joy by the end of the book and makes you realize what is most important in your life.  It was an amazing journey and one that will make you grateful for the life you have and brings perspective to any problems.  I hope that you check out the first book and my review here.  Both books are amazing and I excitedly waiting for the third book in the series expected Spring 2019.  I will most likely not know that it is a new book by reading the description again but I am very excited to check out the whole series to read for myself.  I hope that you do to and enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 7/9

Meal Options for the Week for Lunch and Dinner:

Olive Oil Spaghetti with peasant bread
Turkey Sandwiches and Chicken Wraps
Chicken fries, Buffalo and Plain Chicken Nuggets with homemade fries
Tacos with corn bread and Mexican Rice
Chicken with white rice and corn on the cob
Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken with mac and cheese
Chicken Marsala with garlic bread
Fried Rice, Salad, Microwave Rice, Microwave Noodles and PBJ Sandwiches

Pizza Hut at the Pool
Grotto's Pizza
Pete's Steak Shop
Crooked Hammock
Casa Di Leo

Last week went pretty much like the plan except I forgot to take out the chicken to grill on Wednesday so I went with some frozen chicken and mac and cheese.  I also made some baby cakes and smiles.  It was super easy and tasty and I used up a little more freezer space and moved things around.  I am hoping to make a little more progress on this so that I can move more things into the big freezer to be safer from freezer burn.  I got to Friday and decided that I was going to do take out instead of cooking because my parents were coming to town.

I just looked to post this week and saw that I never posted last weeks plan!!  Goodness, maybe makin the list is good except for posting!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Queen of the Cookbooks Book Review

I went through and put a ton of books on reserve and this must have been one of them.  Queen of the Cookbooks (A Cherry Cola Book Club Novel) by Ashton Lee was before the book that I read before in the same series, Book Club Babies.  It was interesting to read it but still took awhile to get into the book.  I am not sure what holds me back from getting into them at the beginning but it is a slow start every time!!

In the quirky Southern town of Cherico, Mississippi, a new library means an exciting new chapter for librarian Maura Beth McShay—and for the friends and book lovers known as the Cherry Cola Book Club…The construction of Cherico’s cutting-edge library has been an epic struggle worthy of War and Peace. But the Grand Opening Ceremony is scheduled at last—for the Fourth of July no less—featuring lakeside fireworks and a concert by country singer Waddell Mack. Maura Beth has even devised a cooking contest among area chefs and aspiring Julia Childs to crown the Queen of the Cookbooks. Yet even Maura Beth’s careful plotting can’t prevent some glitches…

Between a furniture fiasco that requires some creative problem-solving, and front-desk clerk Renette’s major crush on Waddell Mack, there’s equal parts drama and comic relief. Once the ribbon has been cut and the delicious recipes are judged, the Queen of the Cookbooks will take her crown, and the Cherry Cola Book Club, along with Maura Beth and her staff, will have the library of their dreams. But it’ll take luck, loyal friendships, and the shared love of a powerful story to make this a truly happy beginning…

Although it was off to slow start, this book was a nice addition to the book that I already read which was the book that comes after this book in the series.  I like the characters and the small town so I wanted to see what I missed from the previous book which I was a little confused on because it referred back to a lot of things from this book.  It all made so much more sense when I read this one.  It was about the building the library and the changes in the small town to accept the new library including the construction process, opening ceremonies, and protests outside the new library.  It was interesting to get to know the characters more in depth then I did in the last book.  I hope that you check out this book before the other book that I read last month!!  I hope that you enjoy them both!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

June Reading Review

I had a lot of things going on this month and not a lot of reading going on I guess because the book count was fairly low when the month came to an end.  I have finished the first half of the year with half of the yearly goal finished even though it was really low reading amount.  I try to read at least 100 books every year but would rather get 150 books if I can do it.  It doesn't look like I am on track for the higher number but there is still a chance.

If you missed the initial summary and review, you can click on the title and it will link you back to the original post.  I hope that you add a few to your summer reading list.

by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows

by Becky Wade

by Ashton Lee

by Wanda and Jean Brunstetter

by Kristan Higgins

Total Books 2018

January   8
February  10
 March    10
April     11
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