Book Round Up

About the only good thing about not being able to sleep is having a blog where you can pass the early morning hours. Thanks so my inability to catch some ZZZs, I bring you a book round up. I'm trying out a new format. I did away with copy and pasting Goodreads' book descriptions and instead, I'm sharing why I chose the book and a little synopsis to peak your interest. Hope you find your next great read! 

I have a secret that most bookworms won't agree with. I tend to not love Jodi Picoult. Her books are just too sad. Generally, anything tragic about children makes me so anxiety ridden, I just can't read them. Especially when I start thinking about mothers who actually do go through these terrible situations in real life. It just makes my heart hurt. It took me forever to shake the sadness from My Sister's Keeper and I couldn't finish House Rules. This book seems like it could be different though and I can't stay away from the soulful, beautiful way Picoult writes. 

 It doesn't seem like a coincidence to Jenna Metcalf that her mother studied about grief. Now, years after her mother disappeared, she is still searching for answers that just cause more questions by reading her mother's more

I checked this book out because of its cover. I know, I know, you're not supposed to do that but I couldn't help it.  I also can't stay away from good family dramas (mostly because it makes my own seem more normal).

It's the 1970s and a Chinese-American family, the Lees, are falling apart. They were holding it together  just barely until their middle daughter is found dead in the local more

This one makes the list, because duh, it's Rainbow Rowell. Not only is she amazing, but her other books,  Fan Girl - a national favorite- and Attachments are big hits too. Not to mention, she's from Omaha, NE., which pretty much means we're related.

If the promises you made in  your vows seems a million years ago, would you take the opportunity to change the past or would you just let it go? Georgia McCool thinks her marriage may be at a stalemate, so when her husband leaves to visit family in Omaha, she stays behind in California. The next thing she knows, she is communicating with him via a landline, only it's her husband from years ago, before marriage, before kids, before it all didn't go right. Will she use this twist of magic to change her present and save her marriage, or secure a future without him? more 

Yet another book that caught my attention by its cover. It's so colorful and bold! Another reason is because Moriarty is the author ofThe Husband's Secret, which I started to read last year but put down for some reason and then kept seeing it pop up with awesome reviews and I've always meant to pick it back up again. Instead though, I started this book last night and I am hooked. Like up until 1:00 am. and up again at 4:30 a.m. hooked. 

It's like all of those girls you hated but were envious of  in middle school are now grown ups. They have everything, the big shiny SUVs, the perfect volunteering resume and the rich husbands with perfect kids to match. Only now, one of them is a murderer and it all started on the kindergarten more.

Now get to reading and tell me about what you think! 
I'll be posting my review for The Rosie Project later this week and you can follow along on Twitter as I share my thoughts about Big Little Lies.

Speaking of books, who doesn't look a great book club? I know I do! That's why I love bloggers like Lisa Kerr, who are organized and internet savvy enough to spear head online book groups. This summer, Lisa and her fellow bookworms are tackling the Sookie Stackhouse series, so if you want to join them, check out her blog for more information. I read the books a couple of years ago and LOVED them. (creepy, scary and weird, in a really good way) 

Lisa happens to have an amazing blog. She also cracks me up daily on Facebook. 
Do yourself a favor and follow along with her. 

Which Book Round Up books are now on your to-read list? 

What are you reading right now? 

I want to know!

(Follow along with me as I added to mine on Goodreads!)

Things That Drive Me Crazy (The Good & The Bad)

Something about Mondays just makes me want to discuss the other things that drive me crazy. (Mondays being one of them). I started ticking off things and this list just showed up. But alas, it is always my goal to be more positive than negative so I had to think of things that drive me crazy in a good way too. 

1. Crazy Bad: Wendy's commercials. At first the red hair was cute. But now she's scewing up one my of favorite songs and if I hear her say Assssseeeee-aagggo one more time, I'm going to get really frosty with her.

2. Crazy good: Nicole Ritchie's new show, Candidly Nicole. This show is everything. She is doing and say the things aloud that go on in my head and I want her and I to be best friends.

3.  Crazy good: Have you seen LeAnne Rimes new show? She gets drunk at a cowboy bar and sings Can't Fight The Moonlight, which reminds me how much I need Coyote Ugly back in my life everyday.

4. Crazy bad: whiny 4 year olds. Seriously, if she says "heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!" in a high pitch voice only 149 times in one day, I feel like I've won the lottery. You know what is even worse? Realizing that she is getting her fit throwing, rolling eyes and temper from me. I can't believe I just admitted that.

(It's a good thing she's cute)

5. Crazy bad: I can't find the perfect pair of wedges anywhere. Where are all these magical shoes and outfits on Pinterest and do they even really exist? And why aren't they in my closet?

6. Crazy good: Everything about this book: 

7. Crazy Good: Glad Press N' Seal, because, THIS: 

Press'N'Seal all OVER those casts and not one drop of water got through. He was still limited to feet only in the baby pool but that was enough to make him laugh and have fun, which is all that matters to this mom! 

Now, please tell me some things that drive you crazy right now so we can all be crazy together. 

Two Broke Arms: How Our Summer Changed With Just One Fall

For the most part, the summer has been amazing. And then something happened. 

It involved a fight between R1 and the playground. Let's just say the playground won. 

At first we thought it was just one arm. Once we got to the pediatric orthopedic office, they dropped this bomb on us: 

Yes, that's two casts. He can't just do anything half ass, not this kid. He shattered his growth plate and has 4 fractures in his right wrist and a small fracture in the left wrist as well. Luckily no surgery was needed (yet). We go back in one week to take more Xrays to see if they are healing okay.  He was such a trooper. He was making jokes with the nurses as they put on the casts. I'm pretty sure he was hitting on the cute brunette one. 

What are we going to do the rest of the summer you ask? That's the million dollar question. We've been adjusting well. And I'll admit, I can't decide who is more disappointed that we can't go to the pool anymore. But I'll give you a hint: My tan is suffering and I'm not thrilled about it. So far, we've done a bit more game playing, app downloading and movie watching. 

Oh, and eating watermelon with straws, because #nohands  

R1 has mastered Legos again, although getting ready in the morning is a whole new ballgame again. Like any normal morning, yesterday I opened his bedroom door and threw his clothes for the day inside. I came back 10 minutes later to tell him to hurry up and he was just standing there naked looking at his underwear as if it were Mount Everest. I felt so so bad. This whole experience has made us slowwww down a bit more and become a team again. And I can't say I hate that part. 

So right now, this is us 

It's a slower pace for sure but my kids are happy. And what a lesson that is. R1's life has changed so much in the last couple of days. His independent, adventurous, boisterous side has had to take the back seat because of his injury but that hasn't changed his spirit or humor at all. How many of us grown ups can say we'd just roll with the punches that easily? 

Lesson learned, kid. Loud and clear. 

Happy Birthday Page Girls!

Wake up, everyone! It's Monday and it's time to celebrate!  I wanted to introduce you to amazing website called The Page Girls.One day, this website popped up and SNAP - just like that, I'd found my new best friend. The site produces weekly e-magazines with everything from cocktail recipes to book reviews. Now if you don't see why I am obsessed with The Page Girls, then we obviously can't be friends. It's all my favorite things wrapped in to one. 

The Page Girls is Cecily Gates, April Jane, India Lee, Emily Poule, and Jasmine Tru. Five friends obsessed with romance novels, fancy cocktails, and more than anything, friendship. Learn more about The Page Girls here.

The Page Girls was formed to organize these thoughts and stories to share with each other and their readers as well.  Every Sunday evening, a new issue is released with essays, short stories, cocktail recipes, interviews, and more - each with its own new theme.  In the spirit of sharing, readers are invited you to be a part of The Page Girls by telling your stories, submitting your own books for review, or asking some questions that you'd like to see five opinionated girls answer.
How awesome is all this? I love that The Page Girls have created basically a girl's night out: Cocktails PLUS the comfort of having fellow women to talk to about anything from relationship questions to book talks about steamy romance novels. 

I can't pick a favorite part of the website, because HELLO, alcohol. But it certainly has to be the stories. Go read 

The Secrets We Keep: "Folders, Master-Plans and Locked Suitcases." 

 I read 9 Secrets Kept/Revealed From Fiction and Real Life and was instantly in love with the reviews and discussion about secrets in some of my favorite books and movies. Any website that combines The Fault in Our Stars, Orange is the New Black AND Emily Giffin is a website that I pretty much just want to live in forever.

 And did I mention the cocktails? Here's my favorite so far: 

Follow The Page Girls:

For The Page Girl's Birthday Celebration, they are doing giveaways all week long! 

You can enter the giveaway each day here! I can't wait to hear about what your favorite parts of the website are! Go take a gander and share with me what you love! 

Happy Birthday Page Girls! 

Lies I Tell Myself (And You Know You Do Too)

If you don't eat dinner tonight, you can have the mac and cheese at Panera for lunch and it basically evens everything out.

You will never run out of clean silverware so the dishes can wait another night. 

You don't need that much sleep. One more chapter will be fine!

Manfriend won't notice that you watched Netflix episodes without him. You can re-watch it and totally pull off acting surprised at who ends up dead at the end of the season. 

No one can hear you sing in the car on your commute. And also, You have the voice of a love child born of Adele, Alanis and James Taylor.

Your kids' teeth are invincible.

You have plenty of time. 

 R2's "nightmares" about princesses frolicking in the woods are legitimate sources of fear and the only way to get her through it is to break your rule about letting her sleep with you.

 You will learn something life changing from watching Say Yes to the Dress, Kardashians and Sister Wives

Small town gossip will eventually go away

 People don't really mean to hurt your feelings.

You will grow out of needing to sleep with the blanket you've had for 17 years.

It's really cool that you sleep with a blankie. 

There's no way someone will drop by unannounced, therefore, there is no need to put on a bra and pick up all the Starburst wrappers.

Keeping the single socks will one day pay off.

You will only have one glass.

Your kids won't ever grow up. 

R2 got her sassy attitude from her grandmother. You are totally not to blame.

If you don't Instagram it, it didn't happen.

If you do Instagram it, it totally looks as cool in real life as it does in Hefe. 

What lies do you tell yourself?? 

What I've Learned This Summer So Far...

Swimming like a kid again at your grandparent's house..with your own a time warp and a magical afternoon all in one. 

Taking your painted toes, a book, a picnic and your manfriend to the lake on a Sunday is a must...

No matter how simple, bubbles are simply magical and the perfect way to pass the afternoon. 

For the love of all things quiet, let them sleep where ever they may finally and mercilessly crash.... 

Family photos are not just the ones you schedule with a professional photographer...they are also the ones taken in a split second that perfectly capture the essence and dynamic of your little unit...goofballs and all...

What have you learned this summer so far? 

Reese's Frozen Birthday Party: The PEAK of Our Summer!

Once upon a time there was a little girl whose mommy wanted to make her daughter feel really special on her birthday.

The little princess wanted an "Olaf Birfday" party, so  her mommy tried really hard to create a Frozen birthday party with all her friends that she would never forget! 

(Hint: I am the momin this story and this is how I created a Frozen pool party for Reese's 4th Birthday :) 

I started with what many moms around the world start: 
 a Pinterest Board: 

Then I searched my house for anything and everything that could be used to make fun "Frozen" type stuff! I found a snow cone machine a friend of mine had given me last summer...


Coupled with some super cute SnoCone cups, straws and blue syrup...these were a perfect Frozen treat for the party! 

I have to honestly say that the highlight of the party had to be the "Olaf" Cake

I found the main recipe here. I modified it because I wanted more cake layers  so I used 2 box mixes and made 4 layers and then had to make double the frosting as well. I used NEON food dye to create the really fun colors of the cakes.

The REAL secret was given to me by my go-to baker friend, Kari. She told me to freeze the cakes right after baking, so I literally took each cake right from the oven to the freezer overnight, then covered them in a crumb coat, layered them and froze it again before frosting it for good right before the party. Then, I made the image of Olaf by printing the picture, cutting it, mounting it to scrapbook paper and taping it to a straw, popped on some ribbon and added some punch outs of snowflakes and Voila! Oh, and the pretty blue and purple pearls? 
SIXLETS! I know right?! Found them in the cake isle at Walmart! 

Another major hit of the party was the marshmallow station. I put out bowls of different sized marshmallows, tooth picks and these edible markers.
The kids had a blast building their own mallow Olafs! 

Perfect Blue Punch Recipe:
1 Gallon Berry Blue Typhoon Hawaiian Punch 
Large can of pineapple juice
2 Liter Bottle of Diet 7 Up 

I also made jello cubes that looked like ice, from this recipe but they were gobbled up so fast, I didn't get a picture! 

If I had to pick a PEAK of my summer so far it would definitely be this party! I have always loved throwing my kids fun parties and I look forward to whatever theme they come up with next! I cheeks hurt after the party from smiling so many kids were having fun, Reese was on cloud nine...what more can you ask for? 

Speaking of Peaks,thanks to Katherine at Him&Me (But Mostly Me)  who inspired me to bring it back, 
 I am going to jumpstart a weekend Pit&Peak Link Up, so if you have pits and peaks of your summer or week to share, I would love love love to hear about them, so share your posts in the link up!  

(Only I couldn't figure the link up out and gave up! So if you want to link up, post your links in the comments or email me jenniferjherron at gmail dot com and I will happily put your blog link right into this post! 

Time for Mom

Happy Birthday Blog!

Today, this little space of mine on the internets turns 2. 
First, kudos to me for keeping it going. Usually, my hobbies come and go (i.e. wreaths, handmade cards, diets, breadmaking and a very brief point in time I thought I could be a good dog owner).

Thanks to That's What She Read, my imagination has grown, I've found great stuff to feed my brain with and learn from... really, if I'm being honest, I have to say that I even like myself more now because of it- if that makes sense. 

And let's not forget that without it, I probably never would have discovered the beauty that is Buzzfeed, Rotten Ecards, GIFs, and my love of Twitter. 

I started this blog to talk about my love of books (and I took it VERY seriously, as you'll see) but I quickly discovered more ways to enjoy my creative side. I have always loved to write and this space is just, for lack of a better phrase, mine. I write about things that make me happy and instantly hear from others who are happy too, I vent about issues that bug me and get to commiserate with other pissed off people (the ultimate cure) and I get to meet other amazing, creative people I would have otherwise never have known. 

Two years ago, I hit publish on this post: Gone Girl: By Gillian Flynn
I went on to write several other reviews and tried a couple link ups.
And then I gained more momentum and the next thing I knew, 2 years has passed and 394 posts were written. It's grown far behind just book reviews. Some may even say there's been moments of over sharing. 

And let's not forget how much I've loved showing off my cute kids and beg other mothers for advise as I try not to royally screw them up

 I couldn't be more proud and more in love with my blog and I am so happy it found me.

Like I said earlier, one of the biggest perks this blog has been the other bloggers I've meant along the way. A couple of them-all of them my favorites!- have gathered here today to tell you about where their own blogs were 2 years ago and I couldn't be more excited and honored to have them! 

I started my blog in September of 2012, with no clue as to how to size pictures, write properly or understand a lick of HTML coding. Then, I fell 20 feet rock climbing. I was out of work for 3 months, so I threw myself on learning blogging.
I initially thought my blog would focus on daily deals and then it took a drastic turn. I decided to blog about myself. It was much more fun.

I blogged about the trials and tribulations of using a walker. My dog Hugo, my husband Michael, events I attended in my hometown of Dallas and food I ate.

Here's a snippet of an old post:

"Here are my 11 random facts:

1. Popcorn is my all time favorite food. 
2. I used to be so obsessed with Britney Spears I told everyone she was my second cousin (and they believed me)
3. I went to private school since 1st grade.
4. I am horrible about washing my makeup off.
5. I have a Justin Bieber Doll (it was a gift!)
6.  I recently fell 20 ft rock climbing!
7. I have a TV but no cable, we hook our TV up to our laptops and watch Hulu.
8. I traveled 5,000 miles to go to an Electronic Dance Music Festival in Boom, Belgium this past summer.
9. I have been with my husband since we were 17!
10. I have twin 18 year old sisters
11. Most of my family is from Louisiana, no wonder Mardi Gras is my favorite holiday."

So what's changed since then? 
Not much. I started on the journey of "lifestyle blogging" and never looked back.


Happy anniversary to one of my favorite blogs, That's What She Read!

Two years ago on Life According to Steph, I was talking about what I do to shake off a crappy mood, wrote one of my most popular blog posts on how managing your expectations can make your life 100% better, got Darren Daulton as a new roomate, and did some California Dreamin'.

I was also doing features that I've done most of the three years I've been blogging and am still doing:
1. TWTW - the weekend that was wrap up posts (I find it funny that this one from 2012 and this one from 2014 both have my friend Evan with different types of Mohawks, two years apart) and
2. Thursday Thoughts. I read through them for the month and they mention Dirty Dancing, my dogs, general rants and what I'm liking. Still the same. Thursday Thoughts sample from then and now.


My favorite post from 2 years ago: Eternal Sleep Partners 

What has changed for me in the last two years? That pink ass and I went and got married

(i.e. a life event) and not a Damn thing has changed.

Cheers Hoes.


Now, do you see what I love these bloggers? 
How has your blog changed in the last 2 years?
What is your favorite past post? I'd love to read them, so leave links in the comments! 

A Thank You Letter to my Daughter on her 4th Birthday

This is a
Thank You to my daughter, 
who turns 4 years old today... 

Dear Reese Josephine....

Thank you for teaching me how to love singing, even though I am terrible at it. 

Thank you for showing me how fun it can be to make fashion statements. Polka dots with stripes and leggings with socks? Sounds good! 

Thank you for telling me I'm beautiful, especially on days when I feel anything but. 

Thank you for being so outgoing and asking every new person you meet their name and birthday. You're right, you never know when that might come in handy. 

Thank you for picking me flowers and seeing the beauty in dandelions. 

Thank you for showing me how baths can really be like a mini spa vacation if you use enough bubbles.

And I'll always be thankful for the way you ask "What's wong" if I ever look sad. 

Thank you for coming into my life just as when I needed that extra boost of happiness.

Thank you for being the best, easiest infant. I would give ten thousand moons to go back in time to have your tiny little fingers  wrapped around my pinky and nurse you in your rocking chair as you fell asleep. 

Thank you for letting me brush your hair and tell you how beautiful you are over and over again. 

Thank you for making everyone around you smile with your funny little voice.

Thank you for dancing, not just simply walking, where ever you go. 

Thank you for teaching me patience. Because now I know, after saying "hey, Mom. Mom. Moooommmmmm!" and I don't answer right away, you're simply going to say "I love you!"

Thank you for never ceasing to just be yourself.

Thank you for being passionate. The year and a half that you were "Rapunzel" was intense...a lot of braiding your hair and convincing you to wear shoes and getting looks from people in stores because you were wearing a dress-up gown, but looking back on it, I was so proud of you. You loved Rapunzel and wanted to be her, so gosh darn it, you did it. 

Thank you for always being so excited to see me. I feel the same exact way, kid. 

Thank you for showing us all what unconditional love is. Never wavering, never doubting, over and over again love. 

Thank you for starting each day with a clean slate and a great attitude. Even when you go to sleep after a rough day, I hear you get up the next morning, your tiny feet racing across the room, and you fling open your door, happy as can be to start your new day. 

Thank you for always remembering to tell me about your dreams. 

Thank you for giving me a way to see the world from an entirely new vantage point. Everything is more intriguing, more impressive, there's more room to play, more reasons to laugh, more ways to be creative and more ways to enjoy the things that make us happy. 

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful girl in my world. I love you so much, Reeser. Happy 4th year of being an amazing little girl.