Harlequin has this really fun contest to help promote Karma Brown's new book, Come Away With Me.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Harlequin has this really fun contest to help promote Karma Brown's new book, Come Away With Me.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
I have all kinds of things to blog about, but this week is looking terrible and it's only Tuesday. The quick and dirty? I took Olivia to see One Direction with my mom on Sunday. She had a really wonderful time at her second concert ever!
We ended up having to sit in the sun for hours and it hovered right around 90 degrees the entire time. By the time I got home, around 1:00 am, I was so exhausted, dizzy, puking, and had a headache. I assumed it was because I had a long day.Turns out, heat exhaustion is totally real and it totally sucks. Admittedly, I have never been drunk or have had a hangover (because I don't drink at all, ever) but Matt assures me it feels similar.
Which begs the question: who does this willingly? What is WRONG with you?
Anyways. I begged him to call in to work because literally, I couldn't do anything. I threw up so much yesterday, had the worst headache, and almost fell down the stairs twice because I was so dizzy. I did rest a bunch yesterday but today? I still feel like crap.
Unfortunate, because today I am driving down to the Twin Cities again, this time to take my kids to Como Zoo and then see my brother, my sister in law, and their cute little baby. My mom is coming with me but still. I am definitely not feeling 100% and of course, it's supposed to be in the high 80's while we're there. It's almost 6:30 in the morning, I've already got a headache and I'm so tired I can't think. If it wasn't so hard to plan a day to meet up with them, I'd cancel and go a different day. But I've got things going on every other day the rest of summer (literally) so it's today or no day.
Should be super.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Hello, lambs! Welcome to another edition of Try it Sunday!
This week we are making Pot Roast. I'll confess to you I have absolutely never, ever made a pot roast in an oven. I have always done it in a slow cooker and it works so well I'll never change my ways. Normally I make this a lot in the winter but Matt requested it and truly, it's not that expensive to make and it's EASY.
Admission: this is a recipe I found off of Pinterest a few years ago and it's kind of been my go to. Traditionally, I use an onion soup mix but this tastes so much better.
Friday, July 24, 2015
EEP! Book review time! And what a book review to end the week on, that's for stinking sure!
Caged Magic - Jennifer Lyon
Risa Faden is a witch whose ultra-powerful shield magic is slowly breaking her mind. But when her beloved goddaughter is snatched by a demon, she’ll risk anything to rescue the baby—including lying to the handsome, intriguing stranger who has the power to help her keep her sanity, save the child…and steal her heart.
Linc Dillinger is a Wing Slayer Hunter whose sexy, rich, bad-boy charm hides a treacherous betrayal that left him emotionally scarred. As a result he risks his life to protect innocents, but is incapable of love—until he meets a beautiful witch who can save his cursed soul. Risa’s fierce courage and loyalty reaches past his barriers and he begins to believe she has the magic to free his caged heart.
But Risa’s lie explodes into dark danger that forces Linc into a hellish high-stakes gamble: He must either win the witch he loves and her godchild…or endure a loss that will destroy them all.
First and foremost, I haven't read the others in this series and I really wish I had. This is number five, and it isn't crucial to the story if you haven't read the previous ones. I am just in love with this book, and now this series, that I'm all in. I have to get the others to catch up and I'm so excited to see what happens with the rest of the series.
But this is the story of a witch named Risa who is essentially saved by a Wing Slayer Hunter named Linc. As it turns out, they are soul-mirrors, which is basically like soul mates but far more. Once they bond their individual abilities are far more enhanced and then together they become a pretty formidable unit. Of course, both come with a boatload of baggage and while their relationship is based on a bunch of lies and half truths, you root for them the entire time because Risa deserves to not be a piece of sexual meat and Linc needs a good lady to love him. Throw in a whole bunch of danger, demons, hell fire, and nobody being able to find the damn kid, and it makes for a great book you really can't put down.
My only complaints are that some of the magical aspect is hard to follow. I'm all for detail and having a great back story into how the magic works, but some of it felt over my head despite it being pure fiction. Secondly, some passages/story lines are kind of drawn out. Like I could easily edit down a few things to shorten the book and you wouldn't feel like you've lost any kind of story. It comes in at 289 pages in my e-reader and that seemed a bit long. But even though it was long, it was still hard to put down. I had no problem whizzing through this in two days of interrupted reading, and like I said above, it was written well enough that I really want to be more invested into this series. So I'm going to have to give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. Truly.
An excerpt, just for you:
Linc reached across the bathroom, catching her hand. His warm, firm fingers anchored her. Startled, she lifted her gaze to him.
“Come here, Risa.”
She started to shake her head, but pain pierced her skull. She hadn’t recovered yet. It would take hours of sleep to regain some strength.
“Here’s the thing. If you want your high magic, you’re going to have to learn my touch is not like the others. I am not just making use of your body.” He squeezed her hand reassuringly. “Not while I still have a soul. We clear?”
She resisted for a second longer, searching over him with her gaze. When he showed her this kindness, acting as if he cared enough to get to know and understand her, it opened her up, left her too vulnerable.
“Take the first step. That’s all you have to do.” His voice flowed smoothly to wrap around her like a silky ribbon. Her chakras relaxed, and her muscles unlocked.
She took the step.
And won a smile from him. His face softened, a dent forming in his chin while his eyes crinkled. This wasn’t Linc’s charming smile, the one he tossed off with his fast and glib comebacks. That smile had polish.
This one was real, sexy, and made her feel like smiling back. Unsure what to do, she just stood there, staring at the amazing grin on his face.
He reached out, caught her waist and tugged her between his thighs. He tucked her beneath one arm, surrounding her with his body heat.
Author: Chelsea Luna
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Lions in the Garden is available for pre-order at:
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Actually, if we are getting technical, she is 12 weeks this week, but these photos are from last week. As my friend Shirley would say, the end of two months old is when the unicorn glitter has pretty much worn off. We are seeing some personality beyond the "I'm super cute, just squeeze and kiss me all day". She still wants those things but honestly, this kid is heavy. We've got to be pushing 15 pounds and while this isn't much to carry from the trunk of your car to the house, hauling this around all day with one arm is heavy. You'd think by now I'd have some guns for arms but no. Granted, I'm not as flappy so there is that.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
I know this is a day late, but it's such a good post and it's going to be super helpful for you so I wanted to make sure I had enough photos to show you the way I do it so you aren't confused at all.
Currently, I am not working. I haven't worked since the end of March so we have been relying on Matt's paycheck to get by. Matt's job pays him twice a month, he isn't bi-weekly, he is paid strictly on the 7th and the 21st of the month, no matter what. Which sounds super, to have a guaranteed pay day! But when you look at the calendar, some months this really sucks. Like July/August for example. Matt's pay periods run from the 1-15 of the month gets him paid on the 21st, and the the 16-last day of the month gets him paid on the 7th. Well he got paid July 21 and won't get a check until August 7, and when you look at that, it's a LONG haul.
Which makes meal planning crucial because it keeps our grocery bill down. Currently, I'm cooking meals for 4 people. Matt and I typically either have left overs or sandwiches for lunch, and the kids almost always have a sandwich. Right now we are taking advantage of free lunches and snack at the park, but that ends August 7. And really, that hasn't cut down on our grocery bill because I'm still buying sandwich things anyways, but it's a nice option to have if available to you.
I know I have had many people say to me, "I don't know what I'm going to want to eat on a particular day a week from now" when I mention meal planning as a great way to get your grocery bill down. To that I say- learn. Seriously. If you are in a position that you have to budget, learn. Secondly, you don't necessarily have to do that. Here's how I do it:
Other tricks I do? At least once in a cycle I do a spaghetti and use the left over sauce for meatball subs the next day. Sometimes I'll make chicken tacos and we'll have nachos the next night with my leftover chicken, and I'll add corn and beans to it. Be realistic, if you know there is going to be a day where you declare you absolutely are not cooking? Put "order out" on there, knowing you can only order out ONCE in that cycle. (You see that? I just saved you money.)
Step Five: Once I get my coupons from the ad, I start looking online for coupons on the items I need. Truly, the only two sites I really use are Coupons.com and Krazycouponlady.com. Sometimes I find no coupons, sometimes I find a bunch I need. Don't forget to look at your ads at the things that are already on sale without a coupon. This week I was able to get mayonnaise (the large jar) for only $1.33 because it was on sale for $3.33, but I had a $2 coupon online.
Lucky for me this week Super One Foods had a lot of buy one get one deals so I did all of my shopping there. Things I picked up extra as buy one/get one deals that were not on my list were:
- Quilted Northern 6 packs of toilet paper
- Marinated pork roasts
- Packaged deli meat
- Soft taco shells
- Taco seasoning
- Purex laundry soap