Featured Slider

Go on a Blind Date...With a Book!

I have never been on a blind date. It's one of those dating milestones that I completely missed out on... but I've seen enough Sex and the City episodes to know that they are entirely overrated.  

But the thought of being surprised is always fun so that's what inspired my Go On A Date with a Book idea...because let's face it, if I did have a night to do anything I want, I'd probably end up snuggled on the couch with a good book instead of going anywhere, especially on a blind date.



So let's have some fun, shall we? Simply read the quick peak inside each of the books below and if you find one that intrigues you, click to find out more about the book!  I chose random books among my favorites or ones that are always my go-to for recommendations. You never know what you might find! 

________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________



________________________________________________________________


________________________________________________________________

Are you in love yet? Let me know if any of these sparked your interest and if you added them to your "to-read" list! 

And also, can we just share a little hallelujah that it's finally Friyay? This weekend, I'm hanging out with little Lucy, shopping for a very special wedding coming up and finishing up Sunday's on the Phone with Monday. I'm listening to The Flood Girls on audible right now, which is a super fun story. Next up on my list is Where'd You Go Bernadette?, which has been on list for literally years and I finally picked up a copy at the Austin airport last week. 

Things I Won't Give Up Just Because I'm 30

I have a blankie...it's 17 years old and it's my favorite and I'm not even ashamed to admit that I need it to sleep. I cuddle with it on the couch and even love to take it on car rides. There, I laid that out there so everything else I list should not be that big of a deal... 



I feel like I have some street cred now. It's been a while since my Joe Dirt days from above but that doesn't mean I've given up the things that make me feel young at heart. 

For starters, like my first admission, there are many things of comfort that I still hold close to my heart. Like my morning Diet Dr. Pepper. Yes, I know the trendy and healthy things are shakes and juices and I'm old enough to know what's good for me but my a.m. caffeine is just what gets me going. And I'm okay with that. 

Calling my mom when I am sad/anxious/nervous. She's always just a phone call away and like I am sure I did when I was knee high and someone yelled at me on the playground, she is my go-to call when there's a bully. 



My sister is still my best friend. Maybe I should have branched out and made more friends in the big old world but I am just fine with sticking with the one who was my first. When we were little we played "friend" like most little girls play "house." We would say "Hey, do you want to play friend?" and then we would each go to our separate "houses" and then one of us would ask the other to come over and play, as friends do. And still to this day, we call each other on  the phone and start with "Hey friend" and that's not something I will ever give up, no matter how old and gray we get. 



My love for a good gab session. There is nothing I love more than sitting on my friend's front porch, trying to figure out the world's problems and coming up with more random crafts to tackle. Are there more important things that could be done? Probably. There's laundry, there's floors to be swept and maybe even meals to be prepped but dang it, she as a hammock and we have wine and we are going to sit and talk and laugh and all that other stuff can wait. 



A messy room. I know, I know, how silly but I am just going to put my foot down here and do something I couldn't tell my mom back in the day. I'm not going to clean my room right now! I like my pjs and comfy clothes by the bed so I know exactly where they are when I get off work so I can quickly change. I like my shoes where I can see them and I'd rather be playing with the kids then hanging up all the shirts I tried on that morning. And yes, if there is company coming over, I'll stuff all that in the closet and close the doors. Because I'm an adult and it's my house, that's why! And no, you don't want to see the closets, the door is jammed shut but I swear, it's nice and organized. 

Speaking of playing with the kids, I hope I never feel too old to lay on the floor and imagine with them. R1 is getting too old for Legos and make believe but we've adjusted. Now I am a master of MindCraft and Marvel Comics vs. Mortal Combat fighting on Xbox. But we're spending quality of time together and that's what is most important. R2 and I play with princess dolls and most recently, Shopkins. I set up the stores and the houses and she tells me what to say and we could play for hours.


 I let CJ's girls play with my hair and we make a shopping mall for our American Girl dolls. All the things that I loved myself at that age lights up their eyes too and I just love it so, so much. When you have magical little kids to make you feel so young at heart, you'll never get old. 

These things make me silly or seem like a kid but hell, I'm 30 now and I can do what I want. What do you do that still makes you feel young at heart? 






Show Us Your Books

It's that time again! I love showing you what books have had me planted on my butt all month when I should have been doing housework. Let's get started! 

The Nest - I was really excited about this book! It has a great list of characters who were all very interesting, unlike any characters I've met in books before. The situations the band of siblings has gotten themselves into is quite interesting.


How Sweeney has intricately woven these seemingly estranged siblings together gives us a story line that is a perfect mix of hard-to-grasp and can't- put-down. I was asking questions until the very end. 

Leo is the crux of his family's problems. His siblings don't know what to think of them, let alone themselves. Money is the fuel behind Beatrice, Jack and Melody's problems and it's a shame to see so many people - who seem to have the potential have so many things going for-them all sacrifice happiness for the sake of "The Nest" - money they think/assume they are going to get their hands on. They've all basically been sitting on their asses their entire lives waiting on the world to change for them and anticipating that all their problems will disappear once the money finally arrives. 

When that windfall is in jeopardy, the Plumb family finally has to stop and look around and take stock in their lives. And each other.

This is the book to read if you love family sagas, lots of storylines and engaging characters. It's a win win!

It's a great story that made me want to stop and call my sisters. 


Whenever I read "family drama and secrets" I am always sucked right in. I still think about This Is Where I Leave You all the time. And Roses? Don't even get me started. I think it all stems back from me reading Zoya by Danielle Steel as a teen.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - The only thing bad about Dumplin' is that I didn't read it while I was a teenager myself, I could have really used Willowdean's spunk and self-awareness as inspiration! I just adore this story and these characters.Cute story with memorable characters! I love Willowdean and her family. I didn't realize this was a "YA" book until I was too far in, but I wasn't going to stop because I really enjoyed the story, even if it was a little juvenile for my taste as far as conversation and story lines go. However, the theme of the book is such an important lessen that all women-girls, old and young- need to learn and that's about self love and confidence. 

Willowdean has many people in her circle: a mother who is missing the beat as far as being a confidence boosting parent, a deceased aunt that left a lasting impression and a friend that Willowdean will only appreciate once she losses her. 

As an overweight teen, there are some major holes missing in Willowdean's life, especially the one left by her mother, who is more involved in coordinating the city's local beauty pageant than nurturing her own daughter. But that doesn't stop Willowdean from entering that pageant on her own to prove something to her mom. The magic happens when Willowdean learns something much deeper from herself...

A great read that reminds me of the lessons I learned from Judy Bloom when I was young.


The Queen of the Night - Didn't finish this one. It's a big ol' boy and I just couldn't get into it. There were scenes that I was totally engrossed in and then the next thing I knew, we were in a different place, time, story and I just couldn't keep. If the author has spent as much time setting up the scenes as she did describing the costumes, we would have been just fine. I just need books that leave no detail unturned and this just wasn't delivering like I needed it to. 

That's it! I know it's a skinny little reading list but I just had a slow month I guess! I'm currently reading some really good ones so I hope next month's link up is a little more exciting for me. 

What did you read in March? 

As always thanks to my bookworm ladies, Jana and Steph for a great link up! 


Life According to Steph

Spring Book Round Up #120




Could these covers be anymore beautiful? 

It may be 55 and windy as all get out so it feels like Spring in Missouri, thanks to beautiful blossoms and the sunshine. I think that's what made these covers pop out at me so much, they just reminded me of Spring; the colors and the fruit, I want to devour them all! 

Here are three words that caught my attention when I read the descriptions of my Spring picks: 

Marriage, survival and inspiration 

Change, secrets, overcome 

Broken, fierce, frontier 

Harrowing, disaster, mystery 

Engrossing, Friendships, Connections


See what I mean? Doesn't it just make you want to tell everyone to leave you alone so you can read? At least that's how I feel! 

I just finished The Nest, which I have to admit wasn't as ahhhhmazing as I was hoping. I hear family drama and I think everything is going to be as amazing as This is Where I Leave You, but alas, it wasn't. It still was a good read and I am going to have a full review of it up soon. Definitely worth it! I also listened to Dumplin' by Julie Murphy which I thought was super cute!  

Right now, I am reading Heart of Glass by Wendy Lawless and Sunday's on the Phone with Monday by Christine Reilly. I'm listening to Purity by Jonathan Franzen on right now but that I am not sure about it, it's a little weird for my taste but I will give it a try for a while since I can't download another from Audible until May 11th. 

What are you reading? 


Let's Be Honest: There Are Crumbs All Over

I'm sitting here at the kitchen bar, texting with a dear friend, and we are checking in with each other. We both text the normal, "Hope things are good with you!" and "Things are great, hope they are going good for you too!" 

And then, being the loving, real, truth-telling friend she is, she texted back "Okay, we shouldn't sugar coat the shit. Honestly, the laundry is piled up, my kid has been crying since we walked in the door...The dinner mess needs cleaned up and the hubster is still at work..."



That's when we decided to be a little bit more real about how life really looks. Along time ago, I randomly saw a psychic. I totally don't believe in that stuff but it was for a bachelorette party and I just went with it. She took one look at me and said "Girl, you need to relax. Learn the bless the mess."




I need to get back to what Lady Clair Voyante said to me that day. Here's what really is going on: 

A couple of weeks ago I yelled at the dentist because he got inpatient with Reese during a cavity filling. I literally sweat thru the entire appointment.


I had an embarrassingly large amount of parking tickets this month. 



In a lot of photos I post on Instagram, there are clothes or shoes all over the floor just outside the frame. Go on, admit it, you do it too. And those photos of all 5 kids smiling at the camera? There are at least 15 more where they are not at all looking. 

Last weekend I tried my new tactic with a certain someone who proves to continually be a negative presence in our lives. I am trying to be happy and cheerful and smile instead of scowl behind my sunglasses. It totally didn't work, she still yelled at me and gave me a horrible look. But it felt good to still smile. Maybe someday it will wear off on her. But probably not, and that's okay. 






Today, both kids were in trouble. One for not getting up in the morning and the other for dirty looks over having to leave the playground. But I still told myself it was okay. They aren't supposed to like me all the time. Parenting is all about making the hard choices for the right reasons. They're mad at me for a little bit but the point is longer lasting than just a half an hour without the iPod or 15 minutes in their room.  


Right now Reese is licking the wrapper of a Popsicle. She had instant mac and cheese for dinner. And yes, I realize that looks nothing like the pins of kid friendly, healthy meals I have on my Pinterest board. So sue me. 





There are a lot of moments that make it to social media. Hell, I spend a lot of time getting the lighting on my Instagram pics just right. And there are a ton of things I think about posting on Facebook but then end up leaving off instead. But why? Why, really? Because no matter what I post, I know at least my grandma will like it, so there's always that. 

I post pictures of dates nights at amazing restaurants and selfies of CJ and I having a great night out but never of the ones where we are just laying on the couch watching endless hours of Forensic Files. But I love both those moments just the same. It would be silly to snap a picture of us holding hands but I never want to forget how wonderful it makes me feel when we do, even when we are just walking into the grocery store. Luckily, you don't need pictures to remember moments like that. Those are the ones that just stay with you. 

So that's my mission this week: Bless the mess and chill out on my expectations of myself; as a mother, as a wife, as a friend and everything else that is on my plate. And to be honest. I get frazzled, my floor needs swept, I say things out of anger and I hold grudges. But that's okay. Give yourself credit for all the wonderfuls that you do that make up for that other stuff

Things I Conquered this weekend...


We all love a good to-do list, no? And what I love even more than a to do list is when I get to cross those items off. I feel like a conquered quite the list this weekend...



We spent a lot of time outside, attended a magical tea party and even made cupcakes. Lots of smiles and that's all we can ask for! We spent all day outside on Saturday with family. 

Friday, hubs and I tackled painting the kitchen and entry way. It was a brown/yellow that just didn't go with my flow...I am a cool tones girl all the way. We lightened up the space with "Cool Mist" which I thought was a light grey but actually I think turned out more like a very subtle blue but I love it just the same. I've spent all weekend with the windows and curtains open and it feels so light and airy! 



Next weekend, I am headed to Junkstock and I'll be in search of a 7 in either a sign or a photo to go on this wall for the magic number in our family. I rearrange this wall all the time but right now I'm pretty happy with it. It's such a focal point in the house and I love looking at it! 

This weekend, I could barely bring myself to put down my book, The Nest, but managed to find some time. We also got some yard work done and by that I mean CJ got yard work done. I carried a couple branches from the back yard to the front yard and then checked Instagram from the porch. Team work! 

I meant to share this earlier: I found the most PERFECT recipe for carrot cake that I made for our Easter lunch. 
It was a huge hit! 



Things I fell in love with lately: Elle King, Flower makeup by Drew Barrymore, the fact that the Royals are back on the field and finding out two of my favorite book bloggers, Jana and Stephanie, have started a podcast called the Armchair Librarians. Day made. 

OH! And finally I made it over to the Downtown St. Joseph Public Library, which is oh so magical! Not to mention, they also offer a huge selection of e-books and audiobooks that I can download on my phone. It was like Christmas, I tell you. 



So that's it for now! I've got a great Book Round Up coming your way this week, so stayed tune! 

How to Be a Bookworm When You Don't Have the Time

A good friend and fellow bookworm asked me the other day "How exactly do you find the time to read?" 

It's actually a fair question, considering I work full time, have a full house and kids in activities who have an insane need for one-on-one time with their mama. 


It's just that ONE thing that gives me my sense of self, the one activity that I not only love, but feel like I need. I wish I loved exercising as much as I love reading. Well, c'est la vie, I guess. Reading it is. I just naturally make it a part of my day because it feels incomplete without a little bit of reading. 


And I just love finishing a good book. It just feels so good. Except book hangovers, those are the worst.

Here's how I'm a bookworm with no time to spare: 




A Hardback- I always have a book on hand. Usually, if the main book I'm reading is an e-book, I still have a light book in hardback or paperback that I can pick up from my nightstand for when I need a break. I usually also read different genres and like to read one non-fiction and one fiction at the same time. I feel like this make it easier to not get the story lines mixed up. 

Audible-  I am always listening to a book. My hour commute to work 3 to 4 times a week really helps my habit. I pay for 1 audio book a month, which means I am like a kid on Christmas on the eleventh of every month when I know it's time for a new book. This also comes in handy for those rare times I actually can talk myself into walking on the dreadmill. 


E-books- E-books make it possible for me to read whenever I have extra time. This happens in 10 minutes bursts throughout the day, whether I am watching Reese at gymnastics or waiting in the school pick up line. I also use e-books to get to sleep at night. I turn off the lights and read for a bit before finally conking out, without having to get up and turn off the lights. 

NetGalley- NetGalley is fun because it helps fuel my fire a little bit. In exchange for reviews, I get free e-books from publishers and authors. Because I know they are waiting to hear what the world thinks of their books, it motivates me to read a little faster just so that I can tell them what I think. 




Recognizing time-I just pay attention to extra time I may have to read. Now, I'll be honest with you. This "time" could also just as easily be spent on laundry, dusting, sweeping or something like that. But, nah. Plus hubs loves to do the dishes. You have to fight for your me time, and for me, that means snatching up that half an hour here and there. Usually, this looks like early in the mornings and late at time before bedtime. 




Goodreads: The absolutely only way I can keep organized. Without Goodreads, I would never remember which books are the next on my list. I have to keep a list of the books that I have promised to read and review as well as all the ones that I have been wanting to read for fun too. It also helps me move on to the next book quickly if I am bored with one. There's never any time to NOT be reading just because I can't find one I love. I am always adding some to my "to-read" list and reading the Books sections of People and Entertainment Weekly. Oh, and whatever BookRiots Podcast, All The Books tells me to read. 

So those are my tricks. I hope maybe you found a useful trick to help you become more of a bookworm! 

Happy Reading!